Olivia Breen (coach: Aston Moore; club: City of Portsmouth) added to Great Britain & Northern Ireland’s medal tally at the World Para Athletics Championships with a bronze medal in the women’s T38 long jump, while three more British athletes were in finals action on day three.
Breen, the reigning champion from London, enjoyed one the most consistent series of her career, leaping a superb 4.93 metres (-2.2) in the third round.
Jumping into strong headwinds, the Commonwealth champion secured herself a spot on the podium with that effort and subsequently followed this up with 4.84m (-1.9) and 4.83m (-2.2) in rounds four and five. She ended her series with 4.76m (-2.3) as she secured a second consecutive T38 long jump medal on the world stage.
Luca Ekler (HUN) took the title in a championship record of 5.30m (-2.0), with Russia’s Margarita Goncharova taking silver with a mark of 5.10m (-2.6).
After winning bronze, Breen said: “I’m really happy; after such a long season, it was great to have such a good competition. I just gave it my all. The wind was very frustrating, but I did the best I could in those conditions. There is nothing we could do so I just went for it.
“I couldn’t believe how consistent my series was. I don’t often have that. But my training has been going so well, so I’m really pleased with how I performed.
“I came into this competition ranked third, so it means a lot to win the bronze medal. All the hard work has paid off.”
The Welsh athlete added: “I now need to get ready for the 100m, I’m so excited for that. I’m hoping for a medal but whatever happens, happens.”
Richard Chiassaro (Jenni Banks; Harlow AC) came close to adding to the British tally, finishing fifth in a highly entertaining T54 800m final.
The Briton held the inside line behind Yassine Gharbi (TUN) for much of the contest, holding third position as they pushed into the final bend, however, he admitted a deacceleration of speed at this point ended his chances of reaching the podium.
Nevertheless, the Briton was pleased with his fifth position in a time of 1:33.84, saying afterwards: “I’ve had an up and down year with health issues, so I’m really happy with fifth in the 800m. I lost a bit of speed around the final bend and I couldn’t recover from that unfortunately.
“I have two 1500ms on Monday and a 400m – the 400m is my strongest. I’m more than happy with that today and it has set me up well for my next two races.”
Isaac Towers (Pete Wyman; Kirkby AC) and Ben Rowlings (Ian Mirfin; Coventry) both produced solid showings in the T34 400m final, coming home in seventh and eighth place.
Coming from lanes two and three, the duo got away well and posted times of 54.28s and 54.57s respectively, as the title was taken by Walid Ktila (TUN) in 50.54s.
After the race, Towers said: “I’m happy enough with that. It’s a really strong field now; it’s good to see a few new lads coming through. Still stuff to work on like, but I’m getting there.”
The Kirkby athlete, who will be back in 800m action later in the championships, added: “800m is my stronger event – it’s been good to get a feel for the track and conditions over the last two days.”
Rowlings, who will compete in the 100m heats on Sunday morning, commented: “I’m disappointed but it goes to show the strength in depth in the event this year. Some guys have really stepped up. I’ve got to go away, work harder and come back stronger.”
British Athletics Medal Tally (4):
Paul Blake – T36 800m
Derek Rae – T46 Marathon*
Olivia Breen – T38 Long Jump
Sammi Kinghorn – T53 100m
*The WPA Championship marathons took place at the London Marathon earlier this year.