Pearson breaks World Record to secure Discuss Gold
Josie Pearson (coach: Anthony Hughes) added a world title to her Paralympic gold from London 2012, as she increased her world record by over half a metre to win the F51/52/53 discus at the IPC World Athletics Championships. Pearson recorded a throw of 7.09m which eclipsed her previous mark of 6.58m as she won the GB & NI team’s third gold medal following yesterday’s winners Aled Davies (Hughes) and Hannah Cockroft (Jenni Banks).
The 27 year old, part of the team sponsored by Sainsbury’s, was understandably delighted with her performance: “To have your best performance at a major championships and your preparation to be spot on is an amazing feeling. I’m always quietly confident and if anyone asks me before, I’d say I’ve had a really good build up and I’ll perform how I know I can perform. That seven metre mark has been the thorn in my side the whole winter, so to do that here is a real confidence booster going into my other major championships.
“It’s similar to London in it being almost a ‘pinch me’ moment and a bit of disbelief sets in. I’ve got another event (club throw) on Wednesday so I’m almost already refocusing for that, and that’s going to be even tougher for me. However, this performance will set me up really well because I’ve got that added confidence. But the pressure is off a little bit because I’ve competed in my major event and done what I needed to do. Going into the club, I’m going to have the same thoughts and feelings as I did with this event and hopefully that’ll pay off.”
Defending F44 discus world champion Dan Greaves (Jim Edwards) was unable to retain his title, as he was edged into the silver medal position by the man who beat him to gold at last summer’s Paralympic Games – Jeremy Campbell. Greaves’ best throw of 54.38m, with his American counterpart going out to 58.86.
Despite winning silver, Greaves was a little disappointed with his performance: “It’s a great achievement to win silver at any level especially a World Championships. I’m going to look at the medal and use it as motivation because it was a missed opportunity today.
“I know I’m in 60m shape, it obviously just didn’t happen today and a shame I didn’t really show my true colours.”
Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine) upgraded from her T12 200m bronze she won two years ago, as she picked up a silver medal. The 24 year old initially crossed the line in third place, but China’s Guohua Zhou was adjudged to have been thrown across the line by her guide resulting in Clegg being awarded second place.
After the race Clegg said: “I feel like we had an absolutely spectacular bend, unfortunately I'm just not quite strong enough to maintain it in the home straight. But I think that's one of the best races we've run all year in terms of the start. I have some things I need to work on but as my coach Keith keeps saying the bigger picture is Rio.
“It's like putting together a jigsaw really, the pieces are coming together and hopefully by Rio it will be finished! At the end of the day we came out here and put on a good show. We've got more to come, Libby's stronger event so we are just wanting to get through the rounds and get to the final there,” added Clegg’s guide runner Mikail Huggins.
Kyron Duke (Hughes) continued the medal rush, winning bronze in the F41 shot put final. Duke, who will also compete in the F41 javelin final on Monday, missed out on silver by just three centimetres but is pleased with his day’s work.
“There was no personal best, but I’m pleased with the bronze medal. The distance was okay and the competition went well, but annoyingly I was a few centimetres off the silver, but sometimes that happens.
“I’m still developing and things to work on, so I’ll keep working to get better and better. I’m looking forward to Tuesday and showing what I can do in the javelin.”
After qualifying from the T54 200m semi-final in a personal best time of 31.35, Georgina Oliver (Paul Moseley) finished seventh in the final in a time of 31.98 and the 20 year old believes there is plenty more to come from her in the next few years.
“It was really tough competing against all the big girls, but I just went out there and gave it my best, which is what I came out here to do.
“The experience has been really good - I need to work harder to get up with them, but I’m sure I’ll be able to do it in time. I think I need to work on my strength and power so I can possibly beat them next time.”
Sophie Hahn (Joseph McDonnell) capped an exceptional debut with a championship record in the T38 semi-final. The 16 year old was overwhelmed with her performance, and is looking forward to lining up in tomorrow’s final.
“I feel amazing, it’s a dream come true and I never really expected it. Going into the final, I’m hoping for a new PB and a medal, I don’t mind which one.”
There were also personal bests for Lee Whiteley (Keith Hunter), Rhys Jones (Jane Coia) and Sophia Warner (Stephen King), who will join Katrina Hart (Rob Ellchuk), Bethany Woodward (Jared Deacon), Ola Abidogun (Stephen Thomas), Ben Rushgrove (Ellchuk) and Graeme Ballard (Stephen Thomas) in their respective finals.
Jamie Carter (Jenny Archer) just missed out on a place in the T34 200m final despite recording a personal best time of 30.78. However, Carter is looking forward to making his mark in his stronger event, the 800m on Thursday.
I’m a bit disappointed I’m not in the final, but it gives me a rest for my strongest event, which is the 800m.
I’m looking for a good position, we’ll just have to see whether the guys play it fast or tactical. I’m feeling strong, especially after all the issues I’ve had leading into this.”