Teen Sensation Hahn Storms to Gold in Lyon

24th July 2013

After storming on to the international stage on Monday, winning silver in the T38 200m, Sophie Hahn (coach: Joseph McDonnell) went one better in the 100m, as she broke the world record to win gold at the IPC World Athletics Championships. 

The 16 year old confidence shone through as she crossed the line in a time of 13.10 before replicating Richard Whitehead’s (Keith Antoine) victory salute with her arms aloft.

A speechless Hahn said: “I never expected to win, I thought the Brazilian girl would have me, but I decided now it’s my turn. My inspiration for my pose was definitely Richard Whitehead.”

“I can’t believe it, it’s all happening so fast, I shocked myself. I thought I’d get a PB, but not a medal as this is the first time I’ve raced against the world’s best T38s. I can’t wait for the future.”

Hahn’s teammate Olivia Breen finished in fifth place in 14.35.  

Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine) and her guide Mikail Huggins added their second silver at the IPC World Athletics Championships in the T12 100m. Clegg, who went into the championships as defending champion crossed the line in a season’s best time of 12.23 behind China’s Guohua Zhou.

Clegg said: “Obviously we’re disappointed, but we gave it our best shot. It’s hard being in lane eight and feeling in the mix, but we’ve got to be reasonably pleased with the silver medal.

“I feel myself and Libby have moved forward together as a team and I know it’s only going to get better. It would have been nice to get gold, but you’ve got to look at it in a way that we could have come last,” added Huggins. 

Lee Whiteley (Keith Hunter) also marked his GB & NI debut with a bronze medal in the T38 200m. After taking a big fall in the T38 100m on Monday to finish in fourth place, the 24 year old dusted himself off to post an area record time of 23.00.

“It means a lot to win bronze, I wasn’t even expecting a medal at all and was really coming here for the experience.

“This weather isn’t like it’s been back at home, but luckily the team have had the holding camp, which helped us to acclimatise to these conditions. It was tough, but it was tough for all the boys. All the hours you put in is hard at the time, but when it pays off at championships like this, it’s well worth it.

“There have been some great senior performances, but also some great ones from the debutants. Sophie Hahn has taken the world by storm and we’re showing that we’ve got what it takes to take on the senior athletes and challenge for medals just like they are.”

“I made sure I got out the blocks safe and had a good talk from the team management about not dipping through the line, but I managed to hold it together today and come away with the bronze. It was my first major and I never even considered pulling out, I was going to run whatever,” added Whiteley, part of the GB & NI team sponsored by Sainsbury’s. 

After increasing her personal best by over half a metre in the F31/32/51 discus, Josie Pearson (Anthony Hughes) repeated the feat in the F31/32/51 club throw by throwing 14.01m for a total of 951 points and a bronze medal. Pearson, who finished in fifth place in the event at London 2012 was delighted with her medal haul in Lyon.

“It’s been incredible – I knew I was in good form for my discus, it’s my strongest event. I don’t really click as much with the club, but I’ve been working hard in training and I know I can go even further than 14.01m,” said Pearson, who will compete in the F31/32/51 club throw at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games on Sunday.

“I’m one of these people where it’s never quite good enough, because I know I can always do better. However, I know most elite athletes are because they always want to improve. Over half a metre PB and a bronze medal, it can’t be sniffed at.”

Gemma Prescott (Michael Anthony Woods) also competing in the same event as Pearson finished in eighth place with a season’s best throw 19.60 with a points tally of 801.

After winning bronze in the T36 100m, Graeme Ballard (Tabo Huntley) narrowly missed out on the medal positions, finishing fourth in a time of 25.26, while Ben Rushgrove (Rob Ellchuk) finished sixth with a season’s best of 26.12.

Ola Abidogun (Grant Barker, Lloyd Cowan) finished strongly in the T46 100m with a season’s best of 11.09 in fifth place, while Bethany Woodward (14.43 PB) and Katrina Hart (14.72) finished in fourth and eighth place respectively in the T37 100m.

Kieran Tscherniawsky (Jim Edwards) finished seventh in the F32/33 shot put, while London 2012 finalist Dean Miller (Bud Baldaro) crossed the line in the T38 1500m in 4:22.39 for sixth place.

Jade Jones (Ian Thompson, Tanni Grey-Thompson) qualified for the T54 1500m final while Rhys Jones (Jane Coia) finished eighth in the T37 200m in a time of 24.37.

After successfully navigating her way to the T54 200m on Sunday, Georgina Oliver (Paul Moseley) cemented her place in the T54 100m final recording a personal best time of 17.28.

Earlier in the day, both Laura Sugar (Hayley Ginn) posted a personal best of 13.81 to secure her place in the T44 100m, and Sophie Kamlish (Ellchuk) will also line-up against her teammate in tomorrow’s final.

Medal tally:

Gold (10):
Aled Davies (F42 shot put & discus)
Richard Whitehead (T42 200m)
Jonnie Peacock (T44 100m)
Hannah Cockroft (T34 100m & 200m)
Paul Blake (T36 800m)
Josie Pearson (F51/52/53 discus)
Hollie Arnold (F46 javelin)
Sophie Hahn (T38 100m)

Silver (7):
Dan Greaves (F44 discus)
Jonathan Broom-Edwards (F42/44 high jump)
Kyron Duke (F41 javelin)
Libby Clegg (T12 200m)
Bethany Woodward (T37 200m)
Sophie Hahn (T38 200m)
Libby Clegg (T12 100m)

Bronze (4):
Graeme Ballard (T36 100m)
Kyron Duke (F41 shot put)
Lee Whiteley (T38 200m)
Josie Pearson (F31/32/51 club throw)
GB & NI lie in third place in the medal standings behind USA and Russia