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Cockroft and Kamlish shine on golden night for Britain

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3 days ago

Great Britain’s golden girl Hannah Cockroft picked up her second title of the World Para Athletics Championships on yet another medal-filled night for the home nation.

Cockroft, who won T34 100m gold on Friday, added the T34 800m title to her London haul with a perfectly-timed race in the capital, patiently biding her time before unleashing her full power to cruise across the line.

Stopping the clock in a time of 2:01.77, five-time Paralympic champion Cockroft set a new Championship record on her way to gold, finishing ahead of compatriot Kare Adenegan who picked up her second medal of London 2017 with bronze, while fellow Brit Carly Tait placed fourth.

And while admitting to pre-race doubts, Cockroft was thrilled with her performance on the track - and she still has the 400m to come.

“I’m pretty excited, I was really nervous for that race because I didn’t know if I could win it,” she said.

“I didn’t know what shape the other girls were in, so going out, I just had to put my head down, race my own race and play it by ear.

“That can be scary going in without a plan, but I’m really happy with how it worked out.”  Hannah Cockroft

“I was so relieved it was over. I was feeling a little ill as well, I’m not 100 per cent today so I was a little worried that it might affect me, I was really glad Kare took the lead for a bit. It’s all about working as a team, and doing what we can do.

“It’s amazing to be back in London. I love being in London, I love performing in front of the British public.”

It was also a night to remember for Sophie Kamlish, who, after breaking her own world record in the heats earlier in the day, stormed ahead of the rest of the field to win T44 100m gold.

Kamlish, who previously broke the record in her heat at last September’s Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, crossed the line in 12.92 seconds, comfortably ahead of Marlou van Rhijn and Nyoshia Cain in second and third respectively with British teammate Laura Sugar finishing fifth.

“It’s amazing, I definitely wasn’t expecting it, but I was really, really hoping for it,” she said.

“Obviously in Rio, I got a world record in the heat and to do that again was amazing, but also a bit scary because I didn’t want to come fourth again.

“I slowed down towards the end because I knew I had qualified which is a bit annoying for me now because I could have got a slightly faster world record, but I’ll just have to do it again another time!”

 

Elsewhere on Monday night, there was a second medal of the Championships for Richard Whitehead with bronze in the T42 100m.

Two days after winning the 200m title, Whitehead - who will celebrate his 41st birthday on Wednesday - finished in a time of 12.39s behind Scott Reardon of Australia and Denmark’s Daniel Wagner.

“It’s obviously not the result I wanted, I’m a perfectionist within sport,” he said.

“I think it’s important to understand that it’s not all about medals. There are a lot of people in the crowd who are inspired by the performances of Scott, Daniel and myself.

“It’s about accepting a challenge when you see it in front of you and not shying away from that. I never shy away from an opportunity to perform. It’s another medal for my country.

“This is my stadium. I’ve won here many times and the 200m is an event I will always cherish in my heart.

“To get another medal here in the 100m, which isn’t my event, I can’t put into words how pleased I am with how the legacy of sport has come.

“Every time I hear people cheering and smiling, it shows the power of sport. Obviously London as a city has gone through some really tragic times recently, and to see so many people in London smiling is what it’s all about.”

In the T20 1500m final, Steve Morris finished just shy of the medals in fourth having led for much of the race, with teammate James Hamilton placing sixth as both set new season best times.

Elsewhere, there were superb performances from Graeme Ballard and Paul Blake in the T36 200m as they finished sixth and eighth respectively, while Richard Chiassaro placed fifth in the T54 800m following a crash.

And in the T34 400m, fifth and seventh place for Ben Rowlings and Isaac Towers capped off a stellar night for the Brits, finishing day four of London 2017 second in the medal table with 20.

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