Three more silver & two bronze to Australia's tally
24-Jul-2013 2:21 PM
The Australian team have capped off a successful day at the IPC Athletics World Championships by adding two SILVER and two BRONZE to their continually growing medal tally on Day 4.
Bringing the green and gold total so far to 16 medals, it was Scott Reardon (NSW) and Angela Ballard (NSW) who won silver, as Madison de Rozario (WA) and Jayden Sawyer (ACT) earned themselves the third spot on the podium.
The second to cross in the men’s T42 leg amputee 200m, Reardon’s time of 25.29 (w: -2.5) is an Oceania record and provides a tantalising taste of what to expect when he faces off with bronze medallist Heinrich Popow (GER, third, 26.02) in the 100m later this week.
Reardon enjoyed a characteristically good start to ensure his silver medal and entered the straight in front before being inevitably run down by Paralympic champion and double leg amputee Richard Whitehead (GBR, first, 24.95) in the closing stages.
“It was a good race. I got a bit of a better start than I did yesterday. I think that over the last couple of years I have struggled with the people around me but today that wasn’t a factor and I am proud that I can just focus and go for it now,” Reardon said.
“I was pretty surprised by how long I led for actually, Richard takes a while to get going and it was nice to really be in the hunt for so long before he came over me which was probably always going to happen.”
Competing in the T42 class, Reardon is impressed by how far the event has come since the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch where he placed 5th in a time of approximately 28 seconds.
“The T42 class has progressed so much since the World Championships two years ago. I have lowered my own PB by more than two seconds since then and yesterday the slowest runner in the semi-final would have won a silver medal there. It’s great to be a part of the progression, and I am a big believer in that if you want to be the best then you have to beat the best.”
Reardon, who is coached by Iryna Dvoskina and lost his leg in a farming accident, will compete in the qualifying round of the 100m on Thursday 25 July, and all going to plan the final on Friday 26 July before leaving for London to compete at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games.
Carlee Beattie (Qld) continued the silver medals for Australia, clinching the medal in the F46 long jump for arm amputees.
The Paralympic silver medallist and world record holder coming into the event, Beattie’s best mark of 5.75m (w: -0.4) was enough to secure the second spot, as Nikol Rodamokina (RUS) soared a more than 40 centimetre personal best of 5.92m (w: -0.1) to win gold.
Beattie was impressed with her series, which included two jumps of 5.44m and three fouls, and couldn’t be more happy to add yet another medal to a burgeoning trophy cabinet that includes medals from last year’s Paralympic Games and the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships.
“I am pretty happy with how everything went, of course there are always a few things that you could do better, but on the whole things went well. The Russian athlete had to jump better than she ever has to beat me and she did so she is a deserved winner,” Beattie said.
“Coming off London and enjoying a strong domestic season this year has been great. Now I am just looking forward to a bit of a break, then back into training in September and getting back into it. The holiday comes first though and with a silver I think it is well earned.”
Coached by Gary Bourne at the Queensland Academy of Sport, Beattie is a congenital arm amputee after she was born with an arm not fully formed. She first competed for Australia at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games and has since competed heavily as part of the Australian domestic season in both able-bodied and para-athletics long jump events.
Delighting the Australian contingent in the grandstand in the T53 800m were Ballard and de Rozario, with the wheelchair racing duo ensuring two green and gold tracksuits will stand on the podium as they won silver and bronze respectively.
Edged out for the gold medal by Hongzhuan Zhou (CHN, first, 1:53.65), Ballard (1:53.88) and de Rozario (1:53.93), who are both coached by Paralympic icon Louise Sauvage, were split by only 0.05 seconds as they crossed virtually in unison for the minor medals. Ballard’s medal is her second silver of the Championship.
“I’m surprised that I am on the podium for an 800m, and to share it with Maddy is amazing. Of course you always want to win but if there is ever going to be someone in front of me I want it to be her,” Ballard said.
“It can get messy out there, this race wasn’t too bad but it’s always nice to see a good battle. I had to stop pushing for a second so as not to lose my hand in a collision but that’s what makes this sport exciting.”
“That race was interesting, I would have liked it to have played out a bit differently because it turned out we ended up almost catching the Chinese athlete which suggests that I probably could have started my sprint a little earlier to challenge for the gold but a silver medal is a fantastic result,” de Rozario said.
Ballard made her Australian debut at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games and has gone on to represent the green and gold at Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012. She has won three gold medals at previous instalments of the IPC Athletics World Championships and she is a paraplegic as a result of a car accident at the age of seven.
Aged just 14, de Rozario made her Australian debut in the T54 100m and 4x100m relay team at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games. She has transverse myelitis, a neurological disease which inflames the spinal cord resulting in her using a wheelchair.
Sawyer, who on debut for the Australian Flame won bronze in the F37/38 javelin throw for athletes with cerebral palsy or an acquired brain injury, rounds out Australia’s medal winning quartet.
Making his intentions known very early, Sawyer threw a personal best 40.53m in round one to sit in the silver medal position for the first three rounds. Continuing with 36.50m, 34.71m, 37.17, 37.88m and 38.42m, Sawyer was forced back to the third spot in round three when Dmitrijs Silovs (LAT) threw a season best of 46.45m to edge in front of him.
“I’m obviously really happy, a personal best and a medal is a really good result. The back end of my series needs some work at championship, I started to tighten up because of my nerves but it didn’t matter in the end,” Sawyer said.
“This motivates me so much. The team experience has been awesome, I’ve made plenty of great friends and I hope to be able to carry it through to Rio, that’s the plan anyway.”
Nicholas Hum (Vic) also competed in a final in this session, with the two-time IPC Athletics World Championships representative soaring 6.19m (w: +1.0) to finish 8th in the men’s T20 long jump for athletes with intellectual disabilities.
In results from semi-finals in the afternoon session on Day 4:
- Evan O’Hanlon (NSW), who won gold in the 100m yesterday, has qualified fastest for the T38 200m for athletes with cerebral palsy in a time of 22.76 (w: +0.1). Highlighting his focus, O’Hanlon cut his hand on the blocks and competed without realising, crossing the line with a deep cut on his thumb and blood all over his uniform.
- O’Hanlon will be joined in the final by ten-time Paralympic gold medallist Tim Sullivan (Vic), who was third in his semi-final in a time of 24.35 (w: -0.7).
- Winning his semi-final in a Championship record time of 16.01, Rheed McCracken (Qld) will advance to the round of eight in the T34 wheelchair 100m.
- Nathan Arkley (SA) and Richard Colman (Vic) have qualified for the final of the men’s T54 wheelchair 5000m, after the duo stopped the clock at 10:25.87 and 10:33.36. Competing in different semi-finals, Colman qualified automatically as he placed 3rd in his semi-final, while Arkley moves through as one of the four fastest non-automatic qualifiers.
- Sam Carter (Qld) has qualified as 8th fastest for the final of the men’s T54 wheelchair 200m after he clocked 26.05 (w: -0.3) in his qualifying round. He was joined on the start line by Richard Nicholson (ACT) and Matt Cameron (Qld), who clocked 26.48 and 26.20 respectively to finish 9th and 12th overall.
For more information on the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships, including athlete profiles and links to live results, please follow this link to the sub-site for the event atathletics.com.au.
ParalympicSport.TV is live streaming the Championships online. Please click here to watch.