14 November 2019

Lyle crowned double world champion as GB add more medals to their tally

Maria Lyle hailed her incredible journey to becoming a double world champion, after the Scottish youngster added women’s T35 200m gold to her tally on the penultimate day of the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai.

Ahead of the competition, the 19-year-old had six individual global medals to her name, but having chased an elusive gold at two previous World Championships, will now leave the Middle East with two in tow.

Lyle claimed 100m glory on day four, and after a strong start to the 200m final, built an established lead to cross the line in 30.33 seconds, comfortably ahead of the rest of the pack.

Having overcome issues with depression and anxiety, Lyle admitted her performances in Dubai have far-exceeded her expectations and her success has yet to sink in.

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It shows how far I have come from last year. I now enjoy life and enjoy training and racing, so from that perspective it’s a really good achievement for me.

Maria Lyle

“The main focus for 2019 was to get to the World Championships - not about medals - so the two golds are the icing on the cake,” she said.

“I’m so pleased to win my second gold and put together a good performance.

“I find the 200m a lot harder with my CP, but I got out well and just tried to stay relaxed. I got to the line well and ran a good time.”

Sabrina Fortune produced a huge championship record-breaking throw to clinch gold in Dubai

Elsewhere in the evening session, Deeside’s Sabrina Fortune claimed her maiden global title in dramatic style.

The European champion endured a back-and-forth battle with Ukraine’s Anastasiia Mysnyk in the women’s F20 shot put final, but sealed top spot with a huge throw of 13.91m with her last effort to smash the championship record.

The Paralympic bronze medallist said: “I’m over the moon - I’ll remember this day for the rest of my life. There are no words to describe how amazing that moment was.

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I burst into tears straight after that final throw. And because I was last, it meant nobody could take it [the gold] off me.

Sabrina Fortune

“After being here for two weeks I wanted to throw long, and this is the best outcome I could have asked for.”

In the day’s morning session, Hannah Cockroft and Kare Adenegan posted a British one-two in the women’s T34 800m, with Cockroft claiming a championship record of her own to win in 1:57.27.

The 27-year-old claimed her 12th world title ahead of her teenage counterpart, and she admitted she was pleased with the manner in which she added to her 100m success earlier in the competition.

“I actually found the race a lot more comfortable than I thought I might,” she said. “The 800m is such a game. It is so tactical, and it is all about playing off the other girls’ strengths.

“I didn’t want to leave it until 100m to go because I knew Kare or Alexa [Halko] could do anything then.

“I just needed to get out of a sticky place. My favourite event is the 400m so I knew I could hold the speed a little longer and I’m happy to have got over the line.”

Hannah Cockroft and Kare Adenegan celebrate after posting a British one-two in the women’s T34 800m

Adenegan, who is now a seven-time world medallist at the age of 18, added: “I’m so happy. I was nervous coming into the 800m because my times this season haven’t been good at all, but I got a PB so I’m really pleased.”

Another to claim silver was double Paralympic champion Richard Whitehead, who finished behind South Africa’s Ntando Mahlangu in the men’s T61 200m despite clocking a season’s-best time of 23.82 seconds.

Meanwhile, Anna Nicholson finished just outside the podium places with fourth in the women’s F35 shot put on her World Championships debut, and Paul Blake couldn’t add to his earlier T36 800m gold, finishing fifth in the 400m.

Owen Miller was sixth in the men’s T20 1500m, while Martina Barber finished eighth in the women’s T20 long jump.

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