Jo Butterfield (coach: Phil Peat; club: Forth Valley Flyers) took her first medal on the world stage for four years as she claimed silver in the F51 Club Throw at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai.
In the scorching heat, the Paralympic champion’s first round effort of 21.67 metres, proved enough to secure second position, behind Ukraine’s Zoia Ovsii, who threw a world record 25.23m for gold.
The Scot’s best three efforts were all within six centimetres of each other and continues her success on the international stage, having claimed silver at the European Championships in Berlin in 2018.
Having missed the chance to be on the podium at a home championship two years ago, Butterfield is delighted that she will once again have a moment to remember later in the day.
After her series, Butterfield said: “The silver medal is fantastic. I came away with fourth, somewhere no one wants to be, in London, so to be back on that podium is really good.
“The competition was a bit of an unknown. I came in ranked third, not really sure what the Ukrainian and Russian would throw, but I knew they could throw pretty far. My first throw was good enough to get second. I’m pleased with that, but I wanted more to be honest. I do believe there is more, but it’s been a long year and my body is a bit tired and needs some rest.
“Every throw was pretty much within a few centimetres of each other, which is great to know every throw is there or thereabouts. I just need to make them further.
“It’s hard when you are injured. No one likes it, it’s long repetitive rehab. As much as we love the physios, we really don’t want to see them unless we have to. Thanks to the massive team around me who have helped me get back on the podium, it is a credit to them.”
On her moment on the podium, she added: “It’s going to be good. I missed it in 2017, but to be back on the podium a year before Tokyo is encouraging. I’m still holding onto silver, the event hasn’t moved on out of my grasp, so I have a chance, and that top spot could be anyone’s.”
Thomas Young (Joe McDonnell; Charnwood) broke the T38 100m European record to make light work of qualifying into tonight’s final, winning his heat in 11.12s (1.8).
Young, the reigning World Para Athletics European champion over 100m and 200m, made a lightening start and carried his speed through to the line, looking understandably shocked as he glanced at the clock.
He heads into tonight’s final as the fastest qualifier and feels that he has a real chance of being able to add to the medal tally this evening at 19:21 local time.
“I just wanted to go out there today and run quick in the heat because I wanted to show what I could do in the final. I knew if I could get a quick start and push on in the first few strides, I would be in a good position. I’ve been working on that with my coach, Joe McDonnell.
“I just need to focus on my race and hopefully get a quick time. I’m happy to go through automatically because now I can go straight back and prepare for the final,” he assessed.
On his birthday, Richard Chiassaro (Jenni Banks; Harlow AC) could not progress into tonight’s T54 1500m final as he came home fifth in his heat.
Daniel Romanchuk (USA) controlled the race from almost gun to tape, winning in 3:07.63, with Chiassaro just missing out on going through as the fastest loser.
The Harlow AC athlete will return this evening to contest the heats of the men’s T54 400m, alongside teammate Nathan Maguire (Ste Hoskins; Kirkby AC).
British Athletics Medal Tally (12):
Paul Blake – T36 800m
Hannah Cockroft – T34 100m
Aled Davies – F63 Shot Put
Maria Lyle – T35 100m
Kare Adenegan – T34 100m
Jo Butterfield – F51 Club Throw
Derek Rae – T46 Marathon*
Andrew Small – T33 100m
Olivia Breen – T38 Long Jump
Kyron Duke – F41 Shot Put
Harri Jenkins – T33 100m
Sammi Kinghorn – T53 100m
*The WPA Championship marathons took place at the London Marathon earlier this year.