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UK Athletics

Brennan upbeat on form

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Shropshire wheelchair racer Debbie Brennan says she is returning to her best after missing big chunks of her training following injury and a training accident.


The 27-year-old double Paralympian set a season’s best of 20.10 seconds for the 100m at the weekend’s CP Sport Grand Prix at Stoke Mandeville, despite only returning to training a week earlier because of a back injury.


Debbie, who has cerebral palsy, has been concentrating on the T34 100m this season as the 200m and 400m do not feature on the programme for September’s International Paralympic Committee World Championships in the Netherlands.


She competed a hat-trick of wins at Stoke Mandeville, taking titles over 200m and 400m, as well as 100m.


Her season’s best for the straight sprint was all the more impressive as she only trained for a week before the event following two weeks out with a back injury. Debbie also missed 13 weeks of her winter training following a training collision with a car in December.


“I was very happy with my performances at the weekend. I’m just getting back into good shape now,” said the Telford racer.


“I’ve been concentrating on the 100m this year,” she added. “I’ve only just got back into training, but I feel as though I’m back on target again now.


“I just pushed as hard as I could to see what happened,” she added.


Debbie set a world record to win the 200m gold medal at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, where she also won bronze in the 100m. She won bronze over 100m and silver over 200m at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games.


She won a hat-trick of golds at the 2002 World Championships, which included setting a world record of 19.7 seconds over 100m at Lille in 2002.


Canada’s Chelsea Clark broke Debbie’s 100m world record en route to a sprint double in Athens – but Debbie aims to win it back again.


Her 100m time at Stoke Mandeville was quicker than her bronze medalling winning performance of 20.23 seconds at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games.


Debbie, who is lottery funded through the World Class Development programme won her 200m race in 39.2 seconds and took the 800m title in 2:27.7.


Sprinter Richard White won titles at 100m, 200m and 400m, while Bath-based Ben Rushgrove won at 100m and 200m and Katrina Hart won over 100m.


Meanwhile, nine British athleties will be in action at the disability World Junior Athletics Championships in Dublin.


Brian Alldis, Mickey Bushell and Nathan Stephens, who are lottery funded through the UK Athletics World Class programme, head the British contingent at the championships, which take place from Friday 14th to Sunday 16th July.


Dominic Cheshire, Tom Digney, David Lewis, Joshua Morgan, Samuel Scott and Douglas Stone will also be in action.

Finally, World 400m record holder David Weir marked a return from a training injury and recent illness with an excellent second place in the wheelchair 1500m at Lausanne on Tuesday night.


He led for most of the race but was pipped on the line by Switzerland’s Marcel Hug, finishing in 3.10.72 to Hug’s 3.10.64.