World Record holder Dan Greaves (coach: Jim Edwards) recorded an outstanding 58.98m to defend his F44 discus title and exceed his previous global best by over three metres in the IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand (21-30) this morning, while T53 100m silver medalist Mickey Bushell (coach: Fred Periac) took bronze in the 200m (27.11 (-1.0m/s)).
Beijing Paralympic Games bronze medalist Greaves – the Paralympic champion in Athens 2004 – has been in outstanding form over the past 12 months and delivered when it mattered most.
“To throw two PB’s today was a massive achievement,” said the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team captain who secured his third successive World title. “I was really confident going into the competition and I was a bit annoyed to post two no-throws in the opening three, but I re-grouped and told myself to stick to what I do in training and I was so much more relaxed after that.”
“Maybe I was trying a bit too hard in the opening rounds,” he continued. “I wasn’t turning like I had been in training but I managed to put it right.”
“This is amazing. I lost my way a bit after finishing third in Beijing (2008) but I re-focused and this win stands me in good stead for London.
“I thought I had a 60m throw in me today, but it’ll come.”
Bushell, who matched his current world ranking with a third place finish in the T53 200m, was delighted to make the final after missing out in Beijing. “I’m happy with that,” he said, “I was just pleased to get through and I’m happy to get onto the podium. I had to calm down after the 100m and maybe being more relaxed helped me.”
And while five-time Paralympian Kenny Churchill (coach: Esa Utriainen) in the F37/38 javelin and Rob Womack (coach: Mike Wood) in the F54/55/56 shot putt finished outside the medals, both athletes are confident they have more to give.
“I’m really disappointed, but it was a tough field and I know I’ve got a 50m throw in me,” said Churchill who was ranked third in the F37 class going into the javelin event and recorded 43.84m (891 points) with his best effort to place fifth. “It’s just great to be back in the GB vest.
“I’ve been working with my coach for six months and it’s starting to make a difference. I’m going to go back now and work really hard, especially on my run up.”
Womack, with a best of 10.93m (946 points) in round five, finished seventh in the shot putt. “I threw a PB and if I’d been asked before I’d have definitely taken that,” he said. “I’ve been throwing well in training but I need to work on my concentration and take that to the next level.
“To make the final cut in such a tough combined class event is great. I did hope I could give it a little bit more, but I’m pleased.”
Danny Nobbs (coach: Mike Wood) finished outside the top eight in ninth with a best of 9.12m (914 points).
In this morning’s qualifying rounds, IPC World Championships T36 100m silver medallist Ben Rushgrove (coach: Rob Ellchuk) and Graeme Ballard (coach: Steve Thomas) both cruised to victory in their 200m heats in times of 25.49 (-0.4m/s) – a season’s best performance – and 25.63 (+0.5m/s) respectively.
They line up in tomorrow’s final as the two quickest from round one at 10.33 NZ time (21.33 UK time).
This evening’s programme begins with double World Championships bronze medalist Stef Reid (coach: Dan Pfaff) in the final of the women’s T44 100m at 16.10 NZ time (03.10 UK time).
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