7 November 2019
Blake wins first British gold in Dubai
Paul Blake became the first British athlete to triumph at the World Para Athletics Championships by winning gold in the T36 800m.
Blake, the first British athlete to compete in finals action in Dubai, blew away the field to finish in a season’s best time of 2:07:44 and win his fourth world title on day one of the Championships.
It’s the third World Championships in succession that Blake has triumphed in the 800m, having last taken the crown in 2015 in Doha and in Lyon in 2013, the 29-year-old having consistently improved on his bronze-medal success in the event at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.
For Blake, the feeling of winning world gold never wears off and the 29-year-old admitted this victory feels like the most special one yet.
“To be honest, I think this is the best one,” said Blake.
“The way the last two years have panned out, this is really special.
“To execute the race exactly as I wanted to and to win the gold, I’m really pleased with myself.
“It’s amazing to be the first gold medallist of the Championships for Great Britain and hopefully this will spur on the rest of the team to deliver great performances.
“The plan was to go through the first 200m in 31 seconds and the first 400m in 62s and I did that, so I just held the pace over the next 400m.
“I’m buzzing. It’s great to get the first race under my belt. I’m normally last on and have to wait for everyone else.”
“The way the last two years have panned out, this is really special"
Earlier in the session, defending T53 100m champion Sammi Kinghorn began her title defence in perfect fashion, clocking a season’s best 16.39s as she won her heat to progress to tomorrow’s final.
She said: “I’m really happy with that race. 16.39s is not what I was expecting. It’s one of the quickest times I’ve ever done. I’m so, so pleased with it.
“My aim here was to reach the final and win a medal, any medal. I had an operation earlier in the season which put me back a bit, mentally and physically so you don’t know where you are, but I’m really proud to have worked hard to put on the British kit again for the first time since London.”
Nathan Maguire finished eighth in the T54 100m semi-final, while Mickey Bushell did not progress to the men’s T53 100m final after coming fifth in his heat, missing one of the two fastest non-automatic qualifying spots by 0.02s.
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