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Monday, 17 July 2017 00:39

PEACOCK DESTROYS THE WORLDS at the Para World Championships

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On what he described as an ‘absolutely incredible’ night inside the London Stadium, Jonnie Peacoc claimed back his T44 100m world title in magnificent style on evening three of the World Para Athletics Championships.

Arguably the most anticipated race of the championships, Peacock settled into the blocks for the final on the back of rousing noise from the home crowd.

Slower out of the blocks than usual, it was the USA’s Jarryd Wallace who made the early ground on the field, with Germany’s Johannes Floors going well from lane seven. Moving through the gears at the 40m point, Peacock roared past Wallace before being chased down by Floors. Never in doubt once the lead was his, a dip for the line saw 10.76 flash on the big screen to confirm the victory.

“Before here, I had some great sessions out in Paris. That showed I was in great form. I ran what was the equivalent of a 10.5-high [in his heat], so we knew that it was possible but until you see the time you never know.

“I was feeling some serious cramp in warm up [prior to the final] – my hamstring was going which I why I kept stretching out. I’m just thankful that I finished the race; I guess the noise really does help it. I think we keep proving that events need to be held in Great Britain – this has been absolutely incredible.”

Prior to the final the two-time Paralympic champion had laid down the perfect marker in the preliminary round, firing out of the blocks in the first of two heats to immediately build a gap on the rest of the field.

Haring away up to the 75m point, Peacock, with an impudent look to the crowd, eased down over the final 20m to come home in 10.64, a personal best by four hundredths of a second.

On the widespread thought that he could have broken the world record had he continued to run at full pace, he commented:

“I was excited to see what I could run fresh and I think you saw up to 70-80m I ran max and I definitely could have gone faster. I am always going to look back and think I could have done it [broke the world record of 10.61]; if I had held up better I could have done it.

“But, at the end of the day, I came here for the world title and I’m thankful that I finished the race in one piece”.

On the amazing support inside the stadium, he added:

“We are showing that events here in the UK are outstanding and no one is matching that for para sport. I don’t think the event should go anywhere else – every world championships should be here because this crowd creates such an amazing atmosphere. There is no place quite like it for Paralympic sport.” After battling back from a recent injury, Maria Lyle proved she is made of a stern stuff with a superb run in the T35 200m. Starting well, last year’s Paralympic bronze medallist over 100m and 200m ran a smooth bend to come off on the shoulder of China’s Xia Zhou in third place.

With Australian Isis Holt scorching ahead for gold in what would be a championship record, Lyle dug in deep down the home straight and held her form to clock 29.87 for bronze, a phenomenal season’s best time in light of recent struggles.

“I’m really lucky and grateful to have made the start line – I had a few issues with injuries at holding camp and had to have a lot of physio as well as not running,” said Lyle.

“A season’s best is something I’m happy with; the crowd and noise were absolutely amazing. The field is a tough one: we’re all around the same age but we’re all at different points of development; I’m a bit bigger than the others and that plays a part.

“I have the 100m to look ahead to now – I will rest and reassess before then.”

F35 Shot put action saw Sam Ruddock (Jim Edwards) in action in the circle closest to the home straight. After opening up with 12.09m, he went on to post 12.84m and 12.71m in rounds two and three respectively to leave himself contending well with the heavyweights of the class.

With things seemingly on the up with each passing round, three successive fouls in rounds four to six meant Ruddock would have to settle for seventh place finish. V Post-competition he said: “I wish the competition had gone better for me. My training has been going superbly so I am disappointed with the end result – I would love to have thrown further.”

Of the experience, he added: “The atmosphere was just stunning. I was lucky enough to compete here in 2012 but I was doing the sprints then. The noise in my sixth round today in the shot put was something else. It is a moment I’ll never forget and I’ll cherish forever.

Competing in the London Stadium for the very first time, Julie Rogers (Allen Adamson) gained the best possible start for herself in the T42 100m final. Pushing out strongly, the 18-year-old held her form well to reach the 50m point in position for bronze.

With the feel of the field gaining on her, Rogers’ rhythm wavered slightly which was unfortunately all was needed for the chasing pack to swallow up the ground on the Bedford & Country athlete.

“I feel that my start was really good, but I just lost it, got distracted a bit and lost my rhythm unfortunately. I’m still a work in progress; I know what I need to work on.

“The start of my race I was very focused. Towards the end I got a bit complacent and started to look around a bit. I shouldn’t have done that - inexperience got the better of me.”

The final track action of the evening saw Richard Chiassaro (Jenni Banks) take to the start line for the T54 1500m.

Ranked number one in the world over the distance, Chiassaro made a great start, setting the pace and looking in command at the head of the pack, only for a shift in movement from those directly behind him to leave him awkwardly boxed it with around 800m to go.

As the pace picked up a notch at the bell those around him found an extra gear to kick on, with the Harlow athlete having to go wide in an attempt to haul back lost ground. Pushing and determined all the way to the line, his time of 3:06.24 was good for eighth place.

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