Cockroft Wins Second Gold Medal in Christchurch

24 Jan 2011

Hannah Cockroft (GB) raced to her second gold medal of the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand (21-30 January) this evening with a dominating performance and Championships Record in the T34 100m in a time of 18.98.

Having secured the first gold medal of the competition for the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team over 200m on day one, multiple World Record holder Cockroft was confident but prepared.

“I knew that Kristin (Kristen Messer, USA) had a faster start than me from the 200m and I watched a replay of that last night,” she admitted. ”I’ve continued to work hard on my start which is the weakest part of my race but I know that I’ve got the quickest top end speed.

“I thought they’d be more on my tail, especially since my start is such work in progress, but I’m excited to win, yeah!”

In the women’s F44/46 long jump Stef Reid (GB) was pushed down into the bronze medal position (4.98m/957 points) after an outstanding final round effort from Russia’s Nikol Rodomakina (5.67m/1006 points), the current world number two in the T46 category.

Having taken a lead into round five, she admitted she perhaps became a little too complacent. “I’m ashamed I lost it,” she said; “I really wanted to hear God Save the Queen in the medal ceremony.”

“The long jump is such a technical event and when I needed to be more technical I just couldn’t find it, but there are positives to take from it; I’m proud of my second round jump because it’s always possible you’re not going to get a mark on the board – look what happened to Maria Amelie (World Record holder Maria Amelie Lefur of France) – she didn’t even make the cut.

Aviva GB & NI athletes contested five finals in total over the course of the evening with Bev Jones – the day two F37 discus silver medallist – the best placed in fifth in the F37 shot putt (9.89m/855 points).

“It was up for grabs, especially to come so close to the medals like that, but my focus was mainly on yesterday,” said the 2006 world champion. “It’s just given me confidence to know I’m not that far off.”

International newcomer Kieran Tscherniawsky finished seventh in the men’s F32/33/34 discus final with a best effort of 27.52m (942 points). It was a significant learning experience for the 19-year-old who admitted that he’d benefited from the help and advice of his more senior team mates Daniel West, world shot putt silver medallist and Chris Martin, former Paralympic gold medallist.

Ultimately, youth won out over experience as West (29.85/688 points) and Martin (21.58/675 points) failed to make the cut in 14th and 15th place respectively.

There was also disappointment for Josie Pearson who was disqualified for going outside her lane in the T52 200m final as her transition to wheelchair racing continues in a tough and highly competitive environment. “I came for the experience – that’s what I’m here for and that’s what I’m getting,” she said.

Following their bronze medals in the T11 and T46 200m, sprinters Tracey Hinton and Sally Brown made it through to their respective finals in the 100m. Hinton took victory in her T11 100m heat in 13.46 while Brown qualified as a fastest loser after finishing fourth in her T46 event in a new lifetime best (13.21).

Concluding the evening’s track action, David Weir, newly crowned world T54 800m champion, cruised through his 5000m heat in second (10.50.00), while T54 800m duo Shelly Woods - 5000m bronze medallist - and 15-year-old Jade Jones progressed safely through in second (1:57.29) and as a fastest loser in fifth (1:59.92).