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UK Athletics

Bronze for Simpson in 200m at Assen

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Sprinter Hazel Simpson won the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland team’s first medal on the track at the Assen 2006 International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships.
Simpson (Jarrow and Hebburn) ran down Hong Kong China athlete Chun Lai Yu to win bronze in the T36 200m final on Monday afternoon.
Simpson (formerly Robson) was trailing the Hong Kong China athlete in the final throes of the 200m final, but summonsed the strength to beat her and take bronze.
The 27-year-old crossed the line in 33.16 seconds, with China’s Wang Fang – double gold medallist at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games - taking gold in 29.88 seconds.
“I’m pleased. The start wasn’t very good because of my balance. I thought I was going to come fourth,” said the Sunderland runner. “If I get a good start in the 100m I think I’ll have a good chance.”
Simpson’s bronze took the GB medal tally to two golds, a silver and two bronzes at the end of day two of the championships.
Once again there were some promising performances by Britain’s young athletes.
Andrew Williams, from Mold in North Wales, threw a personal best of 6.97m in the F32 shot, but just missed a medal, finishing fourth. Bernie Doolan failed to register a valid throw in the competition.
Sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Clegg (Borders AC, Edinburgh Woollen Mill) won her T12 200m semi-final in 26.26 seconds to book a place in tomorrow’s (Tuesday) final. Her time made her second fastest qualifier.
There will be a re-run of the men’s T36 100m final after 18-year-old British sprinter Ben Rushgrove (City of Bath AC, TeamBath) was disqualified from yesterday afternoon’s final for a false start.
The GB team appealed against the decision and the jury upheld the appeal, but instead disqualified Greek runner Panagiotis Manetas, who had finished sixth in the original race.
The final will be now re-run later in the championships, with Rushgrove, but without the Greek sprinter.
Fellow British sprinter Graeme Ballard (Chorley AC) had finished second in the original final and will also go in the re-run.
Rushgrove also learned today that his semi-final personal best of 12.41 yesterday was a new European Record.
Eighteen-year-old Nathan Stephens (FDSW) came fifth in the F57 javelin with a best throw of 33.04m.
“I’m fifth at the world in my worst event,” said a delighted Stephens. “I’m really, really pleased. There was no pressure on my at all apart from my own goals.”
Neil Fachie (Aberdeen AAC) finished sixth in the T13 200m final in 23.10 seconds.
David Weir always looked in control as he moved comfortably into the next round of the T54 1500m, winning his heat in 3:19.36. Tushar Patel also qualified for the next round, finishing third in his heat – the fastest of the five heats – in 3:18.24. Twenty-year-old Brian Alldis finished sixth in his heat in 3:25.03, but just missed the last ‘fastest qualifiers’ spot, which went to Japan’s Jun Himorichi in 3:24.69.
Bev Jones (West Cheshire AC) kept her hopes alive of completing a track and field double by finishing third in her T37 100m semi-final and booking a place in the final. Jones, who won gold in the F37 shot yesterday, finished in 15.39 seconds. Team-mate Katrina Hart (Worcester AC) was fourth in her semi in a personal best of 14.68m and also goes through to the final.
Earlier in the day Katherine Deal (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers), the youngest member of the British team in Assen aged 14, just missed out on the medals, finishing fourth in the T13 400m, while Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson (Cardiff AAC, New Marske Harriers) and Anne Wafula Strike (Harlow RC) both progressed through to Wednesday’s T53 100m final.
South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius, gold medallist in the T44 200m at Athens 2004, stepped up to 400m and took gold in a world record 49.42 this afternoon.