Breen leaps to long jump world title as Kamlish sets T44 100m world record
Two-time Paralympian Olivia Breen ensured a perfect start to day four of the World Para Athletics Championships as she blew away the rest of the field to win T38 long jump gold.
Breen, who won T35-38 4x100m relay bronze in London five years ago, set a new personal best of 4.81m to win the title - her maiden World medal in the event.
Her winning leap was 20cm further than her nearest competitor, Erin Cleaver of Australia, with Poland’s Anna Trener-Wierciak taking the bronze.
And having missed out on the medals in Rio last year, 20-year-old Breen could not have been more delighted to have made amends on home soil.
“This means so much to me. I’ve been in the sport now for six years and there have been a lot of ups and downs,” she said.
“I can’t explain how I feel, it’s just amazing. I knew I had to go out there and I wanted to get it right, it came and I’m so happy.
“I moved to Loughborough after Rio which is obviously a long way away from home, and it’s been worth the journey 100 per cent.
“Rio was such a low, but it has made me so much stronger as a person. I told myself I was going to dig deep and get this, I knew I had it in me and I was so determined. It’s a dream come true." Olivia Breen
“It’s amazing to do it in front of a home crowd, obviously all my friends and family are here and my grandparents.
“They obviously came in 2012 and it’s so nice for them to see me get an individual medal. It means so much more.”
More than 23,000 schoolchildren descended on the London Stadium for today’s morning session, and they weren’t disappointed as the action unfolded.
Just as she had done at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games last September, Sophie Kamlish set a new world record in her T44 100m heat, clocking a time of 12.90s.
The 20-year-old will go for gold in the final at 8.20pm tonight, and will be joined on the start line by fellow Brit Laura Sugar, who set a time of 13.42s in her heat to qualify.
“I slowed so much at the end I definitely wasn’t expecting a world record. It felt like I just started walking at the end once I knew I had qualified,” Sophie Kamlish
“I did the same in Rio when the final didn’t go so well, but in Rio it was my mind messing me around a bit. I know how to deal that now so I’ll be ready for the final this time.”
Also in final action tonight will be Richard Whitehead, who will chase his second title of the Championships, in the T42 100m.
Whitehead, who won T42 200m gold on Saturday, sailed across the line in a time of 12.35s to qualify fastest for the final at 8pm, but it was disappointment for teammate Dave Henson who missed out on a final spot.
Richard Chiassaro will also return to the track tonight after qualifying third fastest for the T54 800m final, clocking a time of 1:36.49. He won’t be joined by fellow Brit Nathan Maguire, however, after he finished sixth in his heat.
Martina Barber leaped just short of a bronze medal in the T20 long jump final, but can take positives from her performance after setting a new personal best distance of 5.17m.
There was a personal best, too, for Vanessa Wallace in the F34 shot put final, but her effort of 7.64m wasn’t enough for a medal as she finished fifth.
Tonight’s athletics gets underway at 7pm with live coverage on Channel 4 from 7.30pm, with Hannah Cockroft, Kare Adenegan and Paul Blake also in final action.