A further three medals were added to British Athletics’ tally at the IPC Athletics World Championships, as Jo Butterfield won gold and six-time world champion David Weir and double European champion Maria Lyle both won silver in Doha.
Despite heading into the F51 club throw competition as the favourite, Butterfield didn’t let the pressure get to her, as the European champion produced a championship record throw of 21.44m to secure her first world title.
An ecstatic Butterfield said: “It’s really exciting - I can’t really explain it to be honest. It’s something I’ve been working towards for the last 18 months and to finally come and do it when it mattered is really special.
“I knew the throw was there. It’s been going really well in training – I was a bit nervous and threw a couple of loose ones, but I just had to execute it. I knew what I had to do and on that third throw it all went to plan.
“Georgie (Hermitage – Butterfield’s roommate) and I are getting on fantastic and she was here watching. We’ve just been encouraging each other to do the best we can. We’re both new and in awe of the people we are competing with, so to both get medals is fantastic.”
On her international debut Kylie Grimes (Peat) produced a lifetime best of 14.61m to finish in fourth place, which will give her a great deal of confidence heading into 2016, with the Rio Paralympic Games a firm focus.
In his first appearance in the British vest since London 2012, Weir showed his true championship pedigree taking T54 1500m silver behind Rawat Tana finishing in 3:04.46 – just a tenth of a second behind his Thai counterpart.
Reflecting on his eighth world medal, Weir said: It’s amazing to be back on the podium. I’ve had an up and down season, so to pull it out of the bag when it matters, I’m happy to get a silver.
“I should have gone a little bit earlier, but it was windy on the back straight so I tried to wait until the last minute. I executed the race how I wanted to, so that was the plan.
“I’m not far off it (London 2012 shape), it all matters next year for me if I get there alright. Hopefully I can do what I did in London.”
After a composed T35 200m semi-final yesterday, Lyle showed her undoubted talent winning the team’s fourth silver medal with a new personal best of 29.32. Only a world record from Australia’s Isis Holt prevented the 15 year old from winning British Athletics’ sixth gold medal in Doha.
“It is a great achievement to win silver and I’m pleased with the race. I’ve run a good time and it was very close. It is the first time I have raced Isis (Holt) but I knew it was going to be tough. It’s good to have her because it has made me train even harder this year. I’m very excited to race her again in the 100m. It was very close coming around the bend so that gives me a lot of confidence heading into the 100m next week.”
Lyle like her Olympic counterpart Lynsey Sharp was buoyed by a motivational message on her hand: “‘Fear into action’ and ABC which reminds me of the things I have to do to stop myself getting anxious. Then I have ‘drive, climb, fly’ which is for different parts of the race.”
In the T34 400m, Ben Rowlings (Job King) was ‘over the moon’ with his fourth place finish, while teammate Isaac Towers (Peter Wyman) was two places further back in sixth.
On his international debut Zac Shaw (Peter Gifford) crossed the line in sixth place in the T13 100m behind Ireland’s four-time Paralympic champion Jason Smyth in 11.33 (+2.3).
Fresh from her bronze medal in the T53 200m, Sammi Kinghorn (Ian Mirfin) was straight back into action finishing fifth in the 100m behind China’s Lisha Huang, who set a championship record of 16.29 on her way to victory.
There was also another world record in the heats of the T12 200m, with Cuba’s Omara Durand clocking 23.38 with British duo Libby Clegg and guide runner Mikail Huggins (Joseph McDonnell) taking a fastest qualifying spot into tomorrow’s semi-final clocking 25.57.
Kyron Duke (Anthony Hughes) was left disappointed after three no throws in the F41 shot put final.