Here’s Stuart Weir’s column on the para athletics events held during the Muller Annivesargy Games. Some great performances and the crowd supports Para athletics in London.
There were several spectacular para athletics performances in Muller Anniversary Games program.
In a re-run of the duel at the Rio Paralympics in the T64 (formerly T44) long jump, Stef Reid this time got the better of Marie-Amelie Le Fur. Reid would have been forgiven for having a sense of dÃ©já½° vu when le Fur opened with 5.54 and followed it with 5.34, 5.52, 5.48 and 5.44. But Stef Reid produced a 5.55 in round 4 to win by a centimetre.
Reid, who had become world champion in the London stadium in 2017 said afterwards: “It was awesome. It was exactly what I needed. It’s really not been a super season for me yet and it has been frustrating because I felt like training was going really well and my coach felt like my training was going really, really well, but you then have to face the reality of the results being just no good. Just walking into this stadium every time is something quite special and there is just something about this stadium and this audience which makes you so excited to be here and the crowd just build a great performance out of you. It was actually so much fun competing on the raised long jump pit”.
17 year old Kare Adenegan, has won all her Paralympic and world championship medals behind Hannah Cockroft. In fact, Adenegan had only beaten Cockcroft once before. On Sunday she set a new world record 16.80 (to Cockcroft’s 17.55) in the T34 100m. What a refreshing, lovely reaction! “I can’t process what’s just happened because I didn’t expect it at all and I was speechless when the time came up. I thought I was dreaming because I can’t believe it’s actually happened. I knew my 100m was strong because I set a PB about a month ago so I knew I was capable of something big but didn’t expect that. I’m still only 17 and I just want that to carry on at the European Championships. I’m so used to Hannah winning and she’s an amazing athlete but it was all about doing my own thing. I wanted a quick time but that is a bonus”.
Cockcroft, who is a lovely person, was gracious in defeat: “I didn’t know if 17 seconds was possible to break, I have been trying for five years now and I haven’t got it. Now that someone else has got it maybe it is just what I need. For so long I have been the trend setter and the person to beat and now there is someone I can beat, so it is the best thing that could have happened. It proves London 2012 inspired so many incredible athletes and I am really glad Kare was one of them”.
I have written previously about Sophie Hahn, that serial world record breaker – well she is at it again, running 25.93 in the T37/38 200m