Kinghorn kickstarts GB gold tally in Swansea
19 Aug 2014 - 11:50 am
  • Kinghorn kickstarts GB gold tally in Swansea

Sammi Kinghorn got Great Britain’s gold rush going with two titles on the opening day of the IPC Athletics European Championships in Swansea.


GB finished the day second in the medal table behind Russia with a total of four golds, four silvers and seven bronze.


Kinghorn won the home team's first gold of the day in the T53 400m, digging in on the home straight to cross the line first.


The 18-year-old debutant won the straight head-to-head race with Turkey’s Hamide Kurt in one minute, 04.82 seconds.


"To win gold is pretty awesome," she said afterwards. "This year has been absolutely incredible."


The Scottish athlete returned to the track nine hours later to take a second gold ahead of Kurt in the 100m.


It’s kind of scary coming into the team because you are surrounded by so many heroes - Sammi Kinghorn on her GB debut


Kinghorn had been competing for Scotland at last month’s Commonwealth Games when she found out she had been selected to make her senior GB debut in Swansea.


"It’s kind of scary coming into the team because you are surrounded by so many heroes – I was like a star-struck teenager," she explained.

"I am surrounded by Paralympic medallists and it makes me think maybe I can achieve that one day - it’s a very inspiring environment."


One of the stars of London 2012, Jonnie Peacock released the pressure to storm to the T44 100m title and wrap up a hat-trick of major titles.

The Paralympic and World champion, who has struggled with injury earlier this season, crossed the line in 11.26 seconds.


"I was feeling a lot of pressure coming into this and being the favourite," Jonnie told C4 reporter Daraine Mulvihill.


"It's a tough win but I'm happy with the win. Coming to the championship and taking home the gold is what it's all about.


"It was never going to be a fast time. The conditions here have not been enough to get fast times. 


"I did make a mistake around 60m but I managed to fix it a couple of steps after that and just hold on."


There was a hurricane rolling in to Swansea when another superstar sprinter Hannah Cockroft took to the track.


Today was about blowing out the cobwebs - Hannah Cockroft on her T34 100m win


The 22-year-old Paralympic and World gold medallist - known as "Hurricane Hannah" - added the T34 European 100m title with a peerless time of 18.53 seconds.


"The racing is the fun part and going into that I was really confident," she said afterwards. "Today was about blowing out the cobwebs. I'm loving the atmosphere."


Hannah's GB room-mate Mel Nicholls collected bronze in 20.82 seconds. Both go in the 800m final on Friday.


Defending European champion Stephen Miller added a silver medal to GB's tally in the morning in the F32 club throw final.


The three-time Paralympic gold medallist threw 30.68m but he was beaten to gold by Russia's Vladislav Frolov, who landed a personal best 34.10m.


There was more silver in the field when Kieran Tscherniawsky landed second in the F34 discus final.


"I'm delighted," he said. "I came here thinking I wasn't going to do very well as I was quite ill before this.


"I'll be working so hard and putting blood, sweat and tears into it and hopefully I will get to hear the national anthem in 2016."


There were also silvers to be won on the track as Rob Smith, a road racing specialist, finished second in the T52 1500m.


Graeme Ballard powered out of the traps in a hotly-contested T36 final but was eventually caught by Russian world record holder Evgenii Shvetcov.


The 35-year-old Brit grabbed silver in 12.49 seconds ahead of team-mate Paul Blake, who took bronze.


"I am very pleased," said Ballard. "I knew I was in good shape. 


"I've got the 200m and 400m coming up so it's all about taking one step at a time and seeing what happens."


There were a flurry of bronze medals in the afternoon Swansea sunshine with Laura Sugar starting the rush in the T44 100m.


"The T44 is really strong in its depth so I've got to keep training hard and keep getting faster," said the Welsh athlete.


There was more home success for Welsh rising stars Jordan Howe, Rhys Jones and Bradley Lee Wigley, who all collected bronze over 100m.


Howe clocked a time of 13.23 to finish third in the T35 100m. 


Jones soon followed him down the home straight in the T37 sprint, finishing third in 12.08 while Wigley was a fraction quicker, winning T38 bronze in 12.07.


"It means so much particularly in front of a home crowd," Wigley said afterwards.


Mo Jomni rounded off GB's medal haul in the T53 800m final where he collected bronze on his debut for the GB team.


You can follow the progress of all the GB athletes competing on day two in Swansea on the C4Paralympics website.

Jonathan Edwards and Ade Adepitan present live coverage of the afternoon session on More4 each day from 3:30pm.

Countdown to Rio 2016









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