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Aled Davies

 

02 September 2012

 

Britain won two more medals this morning.

In the F42 discus, Aled Davies (Anthony Hughes) scored an outstanding victory to win Britain’s third gold in the Olympic stadium. He was the favourite with easily the best PB of 47.72m compared to the world record of 47.85m. He opened with a 45.31m to go into a clear lead and then improved that to 45.37 in the third round.

However, Iranian Mehdad Karam-Zadeh was setting PBs and he opened with 43.73m and then got closer to the Welshman with some throws around the 45m mark. His fifth was measured at 44.62m and then his last throw also landed close but the 44.37m measurement confirmed Britain had won gold. With the knowledge he was champion, and reacting to huge roars, Davies finished with 46.14m to go within a metre of the 12 year-old Paralympic record.

After a long lap of honour and running the gauntlet of television and radio, he said, “It was a tough competition. But I dug deep. I'm just speechless. It's surreal. It hasn't sunk in yet. I knew I was capable of breaking a world record as I'm in good shape.

"It wasn't going to be easy as there's a lot of incredible athletes out there. As soon as Mehrdad unleashed his last throw, I was so relieved. This crowd is incredible. Everything here is phenomenal."

Stef Reid (Keith Antoine) took the silver medal in the F42/44 long jump. She had a superb competition, after an intial no jump. She jumped a near PB  a 5.08/0.6 for a new Paralympic record. She improved that to 5.28/-0.6 in the third round for a big 1023 points. Though that was a Paralympic record and easily defeated world record holder in her category Marie-Amelie le Fur of France, it wasn’t enough for gold.

That went to Australian Kelly Cartwright who jumped a world record 4.38m for the F42 category, which got her 1030 points to pip the Briton by seven points.

She said, “When I started working with my coach Keith Antoine he brought out a new aggression in me. He’s never coached a long jumper before but he knew that I was pretty much there technically, so for the first two months we just focused on aggressive running; Keith sees patterns and he wanted me to be a fast aggressive runner not a dainty runner. I’m so happy but those few points are killing me, it’s so annoying. I’m gutted but I’m thrilled at the same time! It’s quite controversial and disappointing they chose to combine the categories but Kelly is a great competitor and jumped amazingly and she deserves it.”

Reid runs in her 100m final tonight.

Five-time paralympic medallist and the GB captain Tracey Hinton (self coached/Paula Dunn) finished third in her T11 200m semi final in 27.38/0.2 and was unable to qualify for the final. She said, “I really enjoyed being captain of the team, which is a honour. My time wasn’t fast enough though normally I don’t get to run in front of crowds and this is fantastic as everyone is so supportive.”

In his T36 100m heat, world record holder Graeme Ballard (Steve Thomas) made the final comfortably  and surviving an early stumble to finish in second place in 12.68,  but after a fast start he did stumble slightly. He said, “That was great though I had a stumble. I picked it up and got back into the race.”

Ben Rushgrove (Rob Ellchuck) also qualified with the morning’s second fastest time of 12.38

The 2008 paralympic bronze medallist Shelly Woods (Peter Eriksson) competed in the T54 5000m She led through the first kilometre in 2:26.72 and was generally near the front but the average pace of  around 60/61 second per lap didn’t suit her and the whole field were together at the bell. A 52.59 last lap saw Swiss Edith Wolf win in 12:27.87 by just four hundredths of a second with Woods eighth in 12:29.26.

She said: I'm understandably disappointed, it's not what I wanted, but I stuck to my plan and I wouldn't have raced it any differently, but the other girls were just stronger. I tried to break them; I attacked to try to take it out of them but it didn't work. It was brave tactics. Its such a high quality field and we could race that again and it would be a different outcome. I've got a rest day tomorrow and I just have to pick myself up for my remaining events.”

In the T37 100m heats, Jenny McLoughlin (Darrell Maynard)  finished second in her heat in a PB 14.48/-0.3 to make the final as fourth fastest Katrina Hart (Rob Ellchuck) finished fourth in her heat in 14.71/1.0 and qualified for the final as a fastest loser.

David Devine (Brian Scobie) competed in the T13 1500m and in his heat he looked to be in full control for qualifying until he came into the straight and he just missed out on an automatic spot even though he beat the old paralympic record of 3:56.03. His fifth place time of 3:55.95 was his best ever in paralympic competition.