Hollie Arnold won Paralympic gold in the F46 event in RioBritish javelin thrower Hollie Arnold completed a clean sweep of major titles by winning gold at the World Para-athletics European Championships. It was one of seven medals for GB on the first night of action in Berlin. Arnold, 24, claimed her first European title having won Commonwealth gold in the F46 event earlier this year to add to her world and Paralympic successes.
“I’m so happy to have all the titles now but this is just a stepping stone,” said the Welsh athlete. “I wasn’t expecting to compete at the Europeans because my event is not normally in so this is a bonus. “The event got taken out in Swansea in 2014 so coming here I thought ‘I’m here, why not enjoy it?’ and try and get the crowd going and just go for it.” Arnold threw a championship record of 40.15m to finish over seven metres clear of the rest of the field, but she never threatened her world record of 43.02. Britain’s other gold went to wheelchair racer Harri Jenkins, who beat the only other competitor in the T34 100m final. The Welshman, who has also played wheelchair basketball at under-23 level for GB, has seen a number of his rivals reclassified but said he was concentrating on getting the win.
“There has been a lot of movement of athletes in my class so I just wanted to go out there and do my thing,” he said. “I was going in hoping for gold and I have come away with it in the end so I am really happy. “This week is going to be a good learning curve for me for the future, with hopefully the world championships next year and going forward to Tokyo.” Elsewhere there were silvers for teenagers Luke Nuttall (1500m T46) and Zak Skinner (Long Jump T13) as well as for David Devine (1500m T13) and Ali Smith (400m T38) while Laura Sugar won bronze in the women’s 100m T64.
Holly Bradshaw, of Lancashire, wins the first ever women’s European pole vault medal at the European Athletics Championships.
Bradshaw cleared 4.75m to win her first medal at outdoor major championships.
The 26-year-old finished fourth at the Commonwealth Games in April but showed her credentials with victory at the World Cup in London earlier this summer and she continued that form in Berlin.
She had first-time clearances at 4.55m and 4.65m but when she passed 4.70m and Russia’s authorised neutral athlete Anzhelika Sidorova cleared it, she was down to fourth and needed higher.
The Russian, who cleared 4.90m indoors this year, passed at 4.75m which meant Bradshaw had a chance to go third at that height.
After a near miss and then a less conclusive second jump, she nailed it on the third to go well clear and into third.
Bradshaw said: “I have had so many fourth and fifth places so to come away with my first outdoor medal feels so good and it was such a good competition and I enjoyed it so much.”
“It is the first time in four years that I have not had an injury or a surgery so I have been able to put a good block of training together and start jumping well so that is start paying to off.
“It has meant the world to me since I started in 2008 and it pays off with days like this. I have had such a fun night.”
And Bradshaw, who will hope to build on this performance at the World Championships in Doha next year and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, admitted that claiming a podium place in front of her parents made the medal extra special.
She added: “It is the first time my mum and dad have come to an overseas competition and I am so glad I could do it in front of them. I think now they are going to have come to every single one otherwise it is going to be bad luck! It means so much to me and it means so much to me and I can’t wait for the rest of this season and for Doha next year and Tokyo.”
Dai Greene (coach: Benke Blomkvist; club: Swansea) has been voted as the captain by his British teammates for next week’s European Championships in Berlin from 6-12 August.
Greene, who won the world, European, Commonwealth and Diamond League 400m hurdles titles in a 14-month period from 2010 and 2011, acquired probably the most votes after each member of the 101-strong British workforce, the most important of the fashionable period, was given the prospect to appoint who they wish to be captain.
The 32-year-old is enjoying a successful summer season having booked his place to Berlin with gold on the Müller British Athletics Championships and having returned to the worldwide stage on the Athletics World Cup, introduced by Müller, each final month. Greene has earlier captaincy expertise having been handed the honour for the European Workforce Championships in Stockholm in 2011 and the Olympic Video games in London in 2012.
Greene received his first main senior medal in Berlin, claiming silver as a part of the British 4x400m relay quartet on the World Championships in 2009 and his first ever worldwide medal at a European Championships, taking silver as an beneath 20 in 2005. As a part of his function, he’ll ship a pre-Championships speech on the British workforce assembly.
Dai Greene mentioned: “After such a very long time out of the workforce, it got here as fairly a shock to be chosen as captain for the European Championships by my teammates. I’m extremely proud to tackle the function as soon as once more. I can’t wait to steer such an ideal workforce into the Championships in Berlin subsequent week.”
Neil Black, Performance Director at British Athletics, mentioned: “I’m delighted for Dai that he has been chosen to captain the British workforce for the European Championships in Berlin. Dai is having fun with an ideal season after a troublesome time period with damage and it’s a testomony to his willpower and character that his friends have chosen him for such an honour. Dai is a really nice athlete each on and off the observe and is a implausible alternative to steer what’s our largest workforce of the fashionable period. I’ve little doubt he’ll lead by instance along with his performances on the observe and by how he operates off the observe.”
In the meantime, race walker Gemma Bridge (Mark Wall; Oxford City) has withdrawn from the British team for the European Championships as she recovers from injury.