A highly entertaining series of jumps from Karim Chan (coach: Femi Akinsanya; club: Charnwood) in the under men’s T20 Long Jump saw him retain his World Para Athletics Junior Championships title on Saturday, as Abbie McNally (Charlie Forbes; Inverness) ran a superb personal best to earn her second silver of the week.
Chan enjoyed the best series of his young career to date as he leapt a significant personal best on his way to the gold medal. After a foul in round one, he jumped a monster mark of 6.70 metres on his second attempt, improving his previous best which stood at 6.33m. He hit the board well and after a nervous wait, he was jumping for joy as he watched the scoreboard show the 37cm improvement.
With his confidence at an all-time high, he later jumped 6.59m and 6.63m which both exceeded his previous best, to continue a dream competition for the Charnwood athlete. He was the dominant force in the field and ultimately secured his second successive WPA Junior championship title following victory in Nottwil back in 2017.
He said post event: “I am really pleased – the competition was amazing. I am happy that I jumped a PB – I jumped really well today. It is really good that my family were here to watch, that makes it even more special.”
Adding a second silver medal of the Championships to her collection was Abbie McNally (Charles Forbes; Inverness) [T37] who reached the podium in the U20 women’s T35-38 100m.
Not only was it a medal winning display – on Raza points – but it was a fine personal best for the Scottish athlete who lowered her best to 14.86 (+0.5), moving down from 14.98 set earlier this year in Grosseto.
After the race, a delighted McNally said: “A silver and a PB to go with it; I’m just so pleased. I felt strong going into that race. My warm-up went really well, and I felt like I would run well. To get the PB is a bonus, it is not what I was expecting.
“I just tried to pull away from the rest of the field and try to hang on to the girls in front to go as quick as possible. Everything went right on the day so I’m very happy.”
On adding a second silver to her collection this week, she added: “To win a second silver is just amazing. It is outstanding; I can hardly believe it. I never thought I would get to this point so to have produced these performances this week, I’m just really happy.”
In the same race, India Oates (Helen Bowles; Darlington Harriers) [T35] ran a solid 16.57 from lane two, to finish the championships close to her season’s best.
Following a fourth place in the 200m on the opening day of competition, Alexander Thomson (Thomas Graham; Whitemoss) [T38] was back in action in the T35-38 100m, again placing fourth overall.
In the mixed classification event which ran three heats, the Briton placed fourth on Raza points, in a time of 11.97 (+0.8), only the second time he has gone sub-12 seconds. The Brazilian, Christian Gabriel Luis da Costa, won to secure the sprint double.
Thomson said: “It’s nice to be going under 12 seconds again. I got out well over the first 20-30 metres, and I gradually got into my tall running phase and just tried to pump my arms as fast as I could. It was one of my better starts. I’m generally happy with how that race has gone – it’ll be decided on points, but I’m pleased with how I performed.
“I’ve learned so much from this experience. I’ve had a lot of fun and met a lot of new friends. It has helped me to perform well, and I’m grateful having the chance to represent my country; it is such an honour.”
Unfortunately, Faye Olszowka (Christopher Harris; Bexley) was disqualified in the U20 women’s T20 400m following a lane infringement.
Earlier in the day, Zien Zhou (Job King; Coventry Godiva) and Matt Cooper (Jenny Archer; Weir Archer Academy) won silver and bronze in the U20 men’s T33-34 400m adding to their individual medal tallies.
The British medallists (13):
Karim Chan – U20 Women’s T20 long jump
Barney Corrall – U20 Men’s T35-38 long jump
Zien Zhou – U20 Men’s T33-34 100m
Matt Cooper – U20 Men’s T33-34 100m
Abbie McNally – U20 Women’s T35-38 100m and 200m
Eden Rainbow-Cooper – U20 Women’s T54 400m and 1500m
Kirsty Taylor – U20 Women’s T44-64 100m and 200m
Zien Zhou – U20 Men’s T33-34 400m
Ethan Kirby – U20 Men’s T20 400m
Matt Cooper – U20 Men’s T33-34 400m
The World Para Athletics Junior Championships is being streamed on the World Para Athletics website, here: https://www.paralympic.org/athletics & results are here: https://www.nottwil2019.ch/en/start_list_results/