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Bronze and blues in Bird's Nest

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Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Chin from North Wales, thought she’d won a Silver medal at the Bird’s Nest on Sunday when she smashed the world record in the F37/38 discus.

 

But, the Chief Classifiers ruined her dream of taking home a Paralympic medal by stating that they were unable to give Rebecca confirmation of the F38 class in the discus competition, under IPC rule 8.4.

 

Rebecca arrived in Beijing as a F44 classified athlete. As a new athlete on the team she was required to complete her second full classification in Beijing before the Games started and her classification changed on appeal to F38. During her first competition, the classifiers watched her compete in the shot putt. The IPC confirmed her as an F38 athlete following the shot put, signed off by the chief classifier on September 11.

Following the Discus final, in the opinion of the functional classifier, Rebecca’s throwing stance was not consistent with what he saw in the shot put or the classification process and claimed she does not meet the criteria of functional loss when she throws the discus, to compete in the F38 category.

ParalympicsGB has been told that Rebecca no longer fits into a recognised IPC class.

 

Rebecca said: “I did my best and performed as well as I could on the day. Considering the circumstances of my preparation due to the classifications I’m pleased with how I’ve conducted myself throughout this process. I’m obviously disappointed with the outcome today but I’m proud to have represented Great Britain at the Paralympic Games in Beijing.”

Tim Jones, Athletics team manager said: “It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Becca, who had to undergo a difficult classification process when she first arrived in Beijing. The athletics team, together with ParalympicsGB, will now be concentrating on providing Becca with full support through this difficult time.”

Phil Lane, Chef de Mission for ParalympicsGB, commented: “Becca has shown a maturity beyond her years in handling what has been a very difficult situation. This has highlighted the inexact nature of the classification process and we urge the IPC to provide more opportunities to classify athletes outside of major competitions to try and prevent a repeat of this unfortunate outcome.”

 

Meanwhile, John McFall was delighted to take Bronze in the men's T42 100m. The Cardiff based sprinter kept his cool during two false starts and a disqualification, which put extra pressure on the 27-year-old.

After a long wait to compete in the Bird's Nest watching his team mates returning with medals, McFall finished just a tenth of a second behind silver medallist Heinrich Popow of Germany in 13.08 with Canada’s Earle Connor taking gold in a Paralympic record 12.32.

McFall said: "Going into the race I always knew it would be a bun-fight for silver and bronze. Gold was wrapped up already.

“It was tough to attack the start after a yellow card but I set myself a goal of getting a medal a year ago.

 

"I'm happy but I can't believe it's over now."

There was disappointment for another youngster when Katrina Hart, the 18-year-old sprinter, tore a hamstring in warm-up and could not line up for the T37 200m final. Hart finished seventh in the 100m on day six (12 September).