2 September 2021

Miller and Broom-Edwards take gold in medal rush morning of athletics

High jumper Jonathan Broom-Edwards and track star Owen Miller struck gold for ParalympicsGB on a sensational morning of athletics in Tokyo.

Broom-Edwards beat India’s Praveen Kumar and Poland’s Maciej Lepiato in what turned into a three-way shoot-out for T64 gold by clearing 2.10m with his second attempt.

It had appeared Kumar would win when he cleared 2.07m and both Broom-Edwards and Lepiato failed with their first two attempts.

Lepiato again knocked off the bar with his final effort and settled for third but Broom-Edwards soared over with his and then cleared the next height to put the pressure on Kumar.

The 33-year-old faced a nervous wait while Kumar sized up his last attempt but he again knocked off the bar to confirm Broom-Edwards as the champion.

“I could not hold it in after clearing that last bar,” he said.

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I always believed in myself and I wanted to come here and jump a new personal best.

Jonathan Broom-Edwards

“It was a flood of emotions, I thought I am done now and Aston Moore – who’s been helping me out here – said to let it all go so I took his guidance.

“I always believed in myself and I wanted to come here and jump a new personal best. The weather didn’t play ball but to do a season’s best is amazing.”

On the track, Miller won gold in the 1500m T20 with a brilliant last lap.

The Scotsman was in fifth position with 400m to go but stayed patient and kicked hard down the back straight to move into second.

He hovered on the shoulder of Russian Paralympic Committee’s Aleksandr Rabotnitskii and overtook him on the last bend before sprinting home to stop the clock in 3:54.57.

Miller took gold after a brilliant attack on the final bend

“It is my first Paralympic Games and what an experience, it is really hard going but the work I have done in the last 18 months has really paid off and helped me,” he said.

“If it wasn’t for all the support back home I wouldn’t be here today. It means the world to me and I have done my best.

“I was third in the world in Dubai 2019 so to be number one now is quite the experience and I have never done it in my life. This is the best day of my life.”

There was an equally strong finish from Hannah Taunton in the women’s 1500m T20, as she grabbed bronze on the final lap.

Taunton was fourth at the bell and slowly reeled in Japan’s Anju Furuya and overtook her on the final bend.

She crossed the line in a new personal best time of 4:35.34 and felt her tactics paid off.

Taunton was fourth at the bell before producing a brilliant last lap

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I thought, 'oh my goodness I am going to get a bronze medal'.

Hannah Taunton

“During the race I was really thinking to myself that on the last lap I was going to storm it and that is what I have been practicing, lots of sharp sprints especially when the bell goes,” she said.

The bell helped and when I crossed the finish line I thought, ‘oh my goodness I am going to get a bronze medal.‘”

Meanwhile, Polly Maton finished seventh in the long jump T47 final with a best leap of 5.19m, while Lydia Church finished eighth in the women’s shot put F12 final with a best throw of 11.41m.

The 4x100m universal relay team of Libby Clegg, Jonnie Peacock, Ali Smith and Nathan Maguire safely made it through to the evening session’s final by qualifying third fastest.

Isaac Towers is also through to tomorrow’s 800m T34 final thanks to a season’s best 1:46.58 with Ben Rowlings joining him as a fastest qualifier.

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