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SILVER FOR MCLOUGHLIN, bronze for blake, brown and hart

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Paul Blake and Russian WR holder
Paul Blake with new Russian World Record holder in T36 800m

26 June 2012

Commonwealth Games silver medallist Jenny McLoughlin (coach: Darrell Maynard) added European silver to her fast improving CV when finishing second in the T37 200m in a new personal best time of 30.10 (+0.4m/s) at the IPC Athletics European Championships in Stadskanaal, Holland today (24-28 June).

Germany’s Maria Seifert won the race in a European Record of 29.94, erasing the previous best mark of 30.11 set by Katrina Hart (Rob Ellchuk) - third today in 30.20 - en route to her IPC World Championships title last January.

“I was frustrated to be drawn in lane six because I know I’m in good shape and I qualified second fastest, but you take what you get,” said double IWAS World Junior Champion (2011) McLoughlin.

“I knew I just had to run my own race and I think I ran a good race, I had a strong start but the bend was tough because you’re out there on your own.

“I suppose it’s a bit bittersweet, I’m delighted with a silver medal but you go out there to win. Overall thought it’s positive, we have three good girls in our group in this event/class and we’re all in the relay squad which makes for a great team as well as pushing us all on to improve.”

Hart was frustrated but will undoubtedly return for tomorrow’s 100m with a vengeance: “I just didn’t have it out there,” she admitted; “I felt so much better in the heat, but if I had to pick between winning gold here or in London I’d always pick London, this is just a stepping stone.”

Former T36 800m World Record holder Paul Blake (Rob Ellchuk) was once again impressive as he dipped inside his old World Record mark with 2:06.81 to finish third in a high quality race won by Russia’s Evgenii Shvetcov in a new global best of 2:05.05.

Blake, the 400m World Champion, went through 400m in the lead in a quick 59 seconds but had to work hard in the home straight as he was passed by Shvetcov and Artem Arefyev (Russia), the 2011 World Champion over 800m and 1500m, who eventually finished second in 2:06.19.

“Rob (his coach Rob Ellchuk) told me to go through in 59/60 seconds and to hold on, and I knew that if I was to have a chance that’s what I’d have to do because we both knew what the Russian’s would do,” said Blake.

“I don’t think I went off to quick, but I did feel like I started to go back in the last 100m. I am delighted though, it’s a big PB and there were just better athletes on the day.”

In the first final of the day for Aviva GB & NI athletes, Sally Brown (Philip Tweedie) - on her 17th birthday - made it two bronze medals in two days when finishing third in the T46 100m in 13.61 (+0.8m/s).

The race was won by 200m champion Nikol Rodokamina of Russia who made it a swift double, taking gold in 12.51.

“It’s nice to be back in the competition environment and to be back with the girls on the team,” said World 200m bronze medallist Brown, who is back in major competitive action for the first time in almost 12 months due to injury.

“It’s funny how you forget things and it’s been about getting familiar with the processes again. I was frustrated yesterday (after the 200m) because I wasn’t running the times I was running last year, but I’ve got to start somewhere and I came here to race, so I’m definitely glad I’ve done that.”

In today’s qualifying rounds, Tracey Hinton (Darrell Maynard) and her guide Steffan Hughes, and Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine) and her guide Mikail Huggins, were superb in making it through to their respective finals in the T11 and T12 200m.

Hinton was the fastest qualifier by a full second in the T11 category, winning her heat in a season’s best time of 27.82 (+1.0m/s) and noticeably easing up into the finish.

Clegg was arguably even more impressive, and although running with the advantage of a slight tailwind, clocked 25.78 (+2.8m/s) for a significant PB and her first time under 26 seconds.

Both girls’ finals are tomorrow.

Full results can be found on the live event site.

Videos featuring Aviva GB & NI athletes can be found on Paralympic Sport TV courtesy of the IPC.

Photo: © Marcus Hartmann: www.photo-harmann.de