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Blake strikes back

on 23-10-2015 21:25

Paul Blake (coach: Rob Ellchuk) added a ninth medal to British Athletics’ tally with silver in the T36 400m on day two of the IPC Athletics World Championships.

Blake won silver in the event in 2013 and matched the result in Doha once again finishing behind long-time Russian rival, Evgenii Shvetcov in 54.58. The 25 year old ran a composed race but it was the three-time Paralympic champion who regained his title posting a championship record time of 53.70. 

 “It is awesome to come away with a silver medal." Paul Blake

The Bristol-based athlete said: “It is awesome to come away with a silver medal. It would have been nice to win but (Evgenii) Shvetcov was just so strong in the last 100m. I did all I could to try and beat him but he was just too strong.”

‘The Wizard’ will return to the track on Sunday for the semi-finals of the 800m, where he is reigning world champion. Britain’s joint team captain is looking forward to his favourite event and has ambitions to retain his title. 

"Having done a couple of races now, my legs are getting used to it. It’s all about working to get into the final and then hopefully I can defend my title once I get there.” Paul Blake

“I’m really looking forward to my 800m. I have a lot of confidence coming off the 400m. Having done a couple of races now, my legs are getting used to it. It’s all about working to get into the final and then hopefully I can defend my title once I get there.”

David Weir (Jenny Archer) showed his major championship pedigree, as he successfully navigated his way through to the T54 1500m final tomorrow night. The six-time Paralympic champion sat in the third lane for much of the race but made a move at the bell to hold onto second place in 3:30.25. He will once again go up against Switzerland’s Marcel Hug, who in the absence of Weir claimed five gold medals at the last edition of the championships. However, the ‘Weirwolf’ is wary of the many challengers going for gold in what he described as the ‘strongest 1500m in my life.’ 

Weir, also a six-time world champion added: “I was in the right position the whole race and I felt comfortable, but nervous having not been in that competition for a while. A lot of them (competitors) seem a bit shocked to see how well I’m pushing and I don’t know why, because I always get into tip-top shape when it comes to a championships. 

“It feels amazing – it’s great to put the jersey on and race around that track and being part of the team.”

Sabrina Fortune (Ian Robinson) placed fourth in her first world final and did it in fine style. The 18 year-old delivered her best ever performance when it mattered, producing a personal best of 12.27m which extended her previous best by 24cm. 

The 18 year-old said: “It was a really good competition and I have had an amazing time in Doha. It has given me a lot more motivation to see what else I can do in the future. I think I can throw 14m in the future; there is a lot more to come. I’ve got plenty of years ahead of me. 

2013 bronze medallist Holly Neill (Andrew Roda) was fifth in the F41 discus with a best throw of 22.68m and was left a little disappointed with her evening’s exertions. 

“There are a lot more athletes now and the event is getting stronger. It has got a lot tougher; there are new athletes that I have never seen before but they have come out and shown a really strong game. Third place was under my PB so I could have got it but it wasn’t to be on the day.”

Tony Mills (Edward Thompson) had a mixed series in the T44 long jump, jumping a best of 6.20m in round two. The competition was won by Germany’s Markus Rehm in 8.40m in what will be one of the performances of the championships. 

Polly Maton (Colin Baross) celebrated her 16th birthday today and got a chance to share the day with the crowds in Doha. She produced one of her best ever jumps on the biggest stage of all. The 5.19m leap consolidated eighth position for the youngster who is supported by the British Athletics Futures Programme. 

Maria Lyle (Tabo Huntley) ran a mature race in the T35 200m alongside fellow teenager, Australia’s Isis Holt. The 16 year old showed maturity beyond her years as the double European champion eased down in the closing stages to finish in 30.32 (+2.4), which will see her get a favourable lane draw for tomorrow’s final. 

200m bronze medallist Sammi Kinghorn (Ian Mirfin) made it through to the T53 100m final tomorrow night as she continues her busy schedule. Debutant Zac Shaw (Peter Gifford) also advanced to the T13 100m final in a lifetime best of 11.21.

British Athletics' medal tally at the IPC Athletics World Championships: 

Gold (4): Hannah Cockroft (T34 100m), Kadeena Cox (T37 100m), Aled Davies (F42 shot put), Sophie Hahn (T38 100m) 
Silver (2): Paul Blake (T36 400m), Georgie Hermitage (T37 100m), David Weir (T54 Marathon) 
Bronze (2): Abbie Hunnisett (F32 club throw), Sammi Kinghorn (T53 200m)  

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