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UK Athletics

Disability round up from this week

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Shelly Woods

Britain’s Shelly Woods missed out on retaining her Great North Run title – but she still has the satisfaction of holding the course record.
The 20-year-old from Blackpool went into Sunday’s race as reigning champion after her first victory in the event last year.
But Canada’s Diana Roy, gold medallist in the T54 marathon at last month’s Assen 2006 International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships, took top spot in the race to claim her first Great North Run title.
Roy crossed the line in 50.33 – 34 seconds ahead of Woods in second place. But Roy’s time wasn’t fast enough for her to take the Blackpool wheelchair racer’s course record of 50.07 that she set in winning last year’s race.
Third place in the women’s race went to Italy’s Francesca Porcellato – winner of the last three London Marathons – in 53.51. Sweden’s Gunilla Wallengren, who won four successive Great North Runs from 2001 to 2004, finished fourth. Britain’s Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, an eight-times winner of the race, was fifth, with fellow Brit Debbie Brennan in sixth.
Tushar Patel was the highest placed British finisher in the men’s race. The Londoner, who won the Great North Run in 2001 and 2002, crossed the line third in the men’s race in 46.04. Kenny Herriot, the 2004 race winner, was fourth in 47.52 while Brian Alldis, a fellow UK Athletics World Class development programme athlete, finished sixth in 49.59.
Victory went to Australia’s Kurt Fearnley in 42.38, with Germany’s Ralph Brunner second in the men’s race.
Three days earlier Shelly Woods pipped Diana Roy to win another event in the north east of England – the Tunnel 2k International. Woods won the women’s race through the Tyne Tunnel in 5.21.01, just over five seconds ahead of Roy. Porcellato was third with Dame Tanni fourth.
Fearnley won the men’s race in 3.47.05, ahead of Tushar Patel in 4.16.00. Germany’s Brunner was third, with Britain’s Alldis fourth. Mickey Bushell, who is lottery funded through UK Athletics’ World Class development programme, was eighth.
Meanwhile, British thrower Sophie Hancock is currently featuring on the BBC Two reality TV show Beyond Boundaries.
The 20-year-old Bolton-based thrower took part in the filmed four-week 1500km trek across Namibia with 10 other intrepid explorers with disabilities.
Sophie said the trek was the hardest thing she has done.
“It was really tough,” she said. “There will be nothing that will come near to that in my life again.
“It was four weeks of intense difficulty. Competition for me is just a couple of hours of pressure when I also have all my supporters around me, so it was a lot tougher than that. “
The first programme in the four-part series was screened last Sunday (2nd October) and programmes are being screened from 9pm to 10pm.
Sophie set a personal best of 6.72m to finish fifth in the F40 shot and was sixth in the F40 discus at the  2006 World Championships.