The rush of medals has continued for the Australian Flame at the IPC Athletics World Championships with Brad Scott (WA) winning SILVER in the T37 800m for athletes with cerebral palsy, as Katherine Proudfoot (ACT) and Richard Colman (Vic) won BRONZE in the F35/36 shot put and T53 wheelchair 800m respectively.
Faced with the unenviable task of trying to chase down eventual winner and world record holder Michael McKillop (IRL, first, 1:57.17, WR), Scott’s performance to win silver saw the middle distance charge clock a season best of 2:02.81 and improve on the bronze medal he won at London 2012 last year.
Recently relocating back to his home town of Perth, Scott thanked his mentor Iryna Dvoskina for the performance today and, despite the time not being as quick as he wanted, was thrilled to deliver for the Australian Flame.
“I’m really happy to win silver, I probably would have liked a little bit quicker but it’s the best I had on the day and enough to perform well for my country. Michael is an unbelievable athlete and obviously it was very difficult to chase him down. He is someone I aspire to be like when it comes to competition and to see him run another world record is an amazing performance,” Scott said.
“I’m now back in Perth working with Lyn Foreman and it has been great to work with her squad in recent months, but the move from Canberra has been completely supported by Iryna and to know she still has my back is great. I can’t thank all of them enough.”
Scott made his Australian debut at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, winning silver as a 20-year-old before going on to win medals at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships and the 2012 London Paralympic Games. He has cerebral palsy.
Throwing a season best and three throws beyond the magic 10-metre mark, Proudfoot enjoyed a very strong series of throws to win her bronze. Opening her account with 9.42m, she went on to hurl 10.13m, her medal winning mark of 10.16m, 9.91m, 10.03m and 9.82m to close.
The performance improves on the 4th placed she endured at the London ParalympicGames last year and gives her great confidence with the F35/36 discus throw for athletes with cerebral palsy to come later in the program.
“Look I am so happy, it was so fun out there. We don’t have many opportunities to catch up with our competitors and it was just so nice to be out there with all the girls from London near on twelve months since we last met,” Proudfoot said.
“The performances of all the girls were great, and I was very pumped about mine too. I had a season best and three throws over 10 metres which is a solid result for me and it gives me great confidence to keep pushing to do better in Rio.
“I’ve had a bit of a technical breakthrough in the past month or so and I think that is why my series was solid today. I am able to get into the right positions and that makes it so much easier in a competition scenario as you have so much more confidence in your ability and you are not out there worrying about a possible foul or something like that.
The Australian Paralympic Committee’s Talent Search Program discovered Proudfoot when it visited Newcastle, and she is now based in Canberra where Aaron Holt coaches her.
Entering to compete in the T54 wheelchair 400m at the very last minute, Colman’s performance was a surprise for the three-time London 2012 medallist. He hasspent recent months focusing on preparation for the 5000m and the marathon,with the two events something that he will tackle for the first time at an international championship.
Providing the ideal warm-up for his pinnacle event the T53 wheelchair 800m tomorrow, Colman’s time of 49.59 saw him win bronze and only be narrowly edged out for second by Huzhao Li (CHN, 49.53), while Brent Lakatos (CAN) won gold in a championship record time of 49.02.
“This is very unexpected. I wasn’t doing this event here, and on Friday after a late change I decided to just have a crack and add it to my program. It shows that I am in good shape and as this is my first event it gives me a real boost leading into a long week that doesn’t end until the marathon finishes next Sunday,” Colman said.
“I am competing in the 5000m and the marathon for the first time at a championship here too. It’s all about discovering new options for me, and I just want to finish the week content in how I have performed, knowing that I have pushed well and done me best. Hopefully the results come, but this year isn’t about medals it is about developing as an athlete and I am very confident in saying that it is starting to happen.”
Colman has competed for Australia at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games as well as the 2006 and 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships. A six-time Paralympic medallist, including the T53 800m crown from London 2012, he was born with spina bifida.
Madison De Rozario (WA) and Matt Cameron (Qld) rounded out the contingent of finalists on day two at the IPC Athletics World Championships, with the wheelchair racing duo competing in the women’s T54 5000m and the men’s T54 400m respectively.
Battling a very tactical race that saw eventual gold medallist Tatyana McFadden (USA, first, 12:08.07) take control from the start, De Rozario was unable to edge to the front of the fast paced closing two laps as the athletes spread across four lanes in a race for the finish. She was sixth overall in a time of 12:09.83.
Cameron, meanwhile, recorded a new personal best of 49.13 to finish 7th in the one-lap event for his paraplegia class, as Swiss dynamo Marcel Hug (SUI) sailed home to his second gold medal of the Championship in a meet record time of 47.15.
In results from semi-finals at the afternoon session on day two of the IPC Athletics World Championships:
- Five-time Paralympic gold medallist Evan O’Hanlon (NSW) made light work of his rivals in the qualifying round of the men’s T38 100m for athletes with cerebral palsy. Barely breaking a sweat, the Canberra-based charge clocked 11.17 (w: -0.8) to advance as the fastest for the final tomorrow.
- Competing in semi-final one and semi-final two respectively, Carly Salmon (NSW, 16.48, PB) and Erinn Walters (ACT, 17.31) have both progressed to the round of eight for the women’s T35 100m for athletes with cerebral palsy.
- Competing in the second of two qualifying rounds, Torita Isaac (QLD), who has cerebral palsy and is visually impaired, ran 30.94 (w: +0.4) to advance on time to the final of the T38 200m tomorrow.
- Surging out of lane three, Simon Patmore (Qld) made light work of his rivals to win the first of three semi-finals for the T46 200m. Easing to the line, he was a clear winner in 22.46 and will compete for gold in the final tomorrow.
- Clocking 28.64, an Oceania record, Rheed McCracken (Qld) has progressed to the final of the men’s T34 wheelchair 200m, an event in which he won bronze the 2012 London Paralympics Games.
- Ian Speed (Vic), who is competing at his first major international championship since the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, placed 3rd in his semi-final of the men’s T12 800m for athletes with visual impairments before being disqualified.
For more information on the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships, including athlete profiles and links to liveresults, please follow this link to the sub-site for the event at athletics.com.au.
ParalympicSport.TV is live streaming the Championships online. Please click here to watch.
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