The Australian Flame has added a quartet of medals to its already impressive tally on the penultimate date of competition at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha (QAT).
Bringing the green and gold tally to eight gold, three silver and eleven bronze so far, it was Brad Scott (WA), Guy Henly (NSW), Deon Kenzie (Tas) and Louise Ellery (ACT) who shone on day nine, with Scott and Henly winning SILVER and Kenzie and Ellery BRONZE.
Scott, a two-time Paralympic Games silver medallist, took control of the final of the T37 1500m for athletes with cerebral palsy from the outset and sat as leader for much of the first three laps.
Breaking away from the pack alongside gold medallist Michael McKillop (IRL, 4:16.19), he was unable to hold on the closing stages but came home strongly to cross second in 4:21.12.
“I wasn’t expecting the pace to be as slow as it was, I didn’t think that I would lead for as long as I did, but in saying that I feel like I was in control of my race and am happy with the result. Michael is that good an athlete, I knew that he would probably come past me but it’s come Rio I’m confident I can keep him on my shoulder and improve,” Scott said.
“This medal is a credit to everyone that helps me get here. The knowledge of my coaches at home, and Iryna (Dvoskina), the team coach here, is second to none and I am so thankful for it.”
Henly hit a best mark of 53.41m in final round to snatch the silver medal and deliver another Australian Flame podium finish in the F37 discus throw for athletes with cerebral palsy.
Opening his account with a nervous foul, the 28-year-old continued his series with throws of 47.69, 51.89m and 49.60m, before a foul and his medal winning mark. The result improves on the third place he delivered at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon (FRA) two years ago.
"I was a bit shaky out there early, but got the cobwebs out and relaxed after I got the first one in," Henly said.
"It was a bit of a fairy tale to improve on the bronze in the last round, but my coach just said to have a crack because there was nothing to lose. It's an improvement from a couple of years back, and now hopefully we move up to the gold in Rio to complete the medal set."
Kenzie’s third place in the T38 1500m for athletes with cerebral palsy in a time of 4:11.60 makes up for his fall in the closing stages in the 800m earlier in the program.
It adds to the bronze medal he won in Lyon (FRA) in 2013, and, together with the world record he set across the distance earlier this year, is exciting compensation for a year of marked improvement.
“A bronze medal. It’s a great reward for all the hard work that I’ve put in this year and I can’t wait to get home to start working with Gunner (coach, Mike Gunson) and Philo (Saunders) on a program that will have me in the best possible shape when it counts even more in 2016,” Kenzie said.
“The opportunities I’ve had this year to prepare at Flagstaff were great. The level of general fitness that I found was huge and I was able to go to Boston not too long after and run a world record. I want to improve on that even more. It’s exciting.”
Ellery, who acquired her brain injury in a car accident and competes in a secured throwing frame that restricts her action to movement only above the waist, ensured a tense start to her competition in the F32 shot put by recording three foul throws.
Her fortunes turned around for the second half of her six-throw series, though, with her bronze medal winning mark of 4.26m coming in the fourth round.
“I’m really happy to be back on the podium again, I’m going to be world champion again, too,” Ellery said
“I don’t know what happened with my first throws, but we got it right for the next ones.”
In other results on day nine of the IPC Athletics World Championships:
- Rheed McCracken (Qld) clocked a season best of 29.49 (w: -0.3) in the T34 wheelchair 200m to progress to the final, to be held tomorrow, on time.
- Crossing the line in a season best of 26.20 (w: +0.7), Brayden Davidson (SA) placed 4th in the semi-final of the men’s T36 200m for athletes with cerebral palsy. His time was enough to ensure his progression to the round-of-eight tomorrow.
- Taking to the track for the semi-final of the men’s T52 wheelchair 400m, Sam McIntosh (Vic) crossed 6th in his heat in 1:10.56 and will not progress to the final.
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