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Page last updated at 13:44 GMT, Sunday, 23 January 2011

David Weir takes gold as Great Britain win eight medals


World golds for GB Paralympic athletes

David Weir led the way as Great Britain picked up eight medals on day two of the International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships.

Weir - who took Paralympics gold over 800m and 1500m - timed his T54 800m race perfectly to see off Switzerland's world record holder Marcel Hug late on.

"This is huge," he said. "Definitely one of the biggest wins of my career."

In the women's T36 200m, Katrina Hart clinched another impressive win to add to her recent Commonwealth 100m title.

The University of Bath-based athlete, who has cerebral palsy, secured her victory in dramatic fashion as two competitors - Germany's Maria Seifert and Great Britain team-mate Jenny McLoughlin - crashed to the ground over the finish line.

"If you're under pressure it makes you or breaks you," said Hart after clocking a new lifetime best and European record of 30.11 seconds.

"That broke her [Seifert] and it made me.

"That [win] was even better than Delhi. I'm really happy, it's amazing. It was tough though and I'm knackered. I had to work really hard down the home straight."

Weir - whose last-gasp win came with a new Championship record of one minute 37.28 seconds ahead of Hug and Julien Casoli of France - said he could now look forward to the 1500m, 5000m, and marathon with confidence after executing his game plan with precision.

I knew that if I kept calm on the bend I had the speed and strength to take it

Gold medallist David Weir

"I knew that if I kept calm on the bend I had the speed and strength to take it," he said.

"I played out my race plan exactly; I've spent all day thinking through different race situations and tactics and how they night play out. I've always said that this is one of the toughest categories in Paralympic sport and you have to be at the top of your game.

"I was definitely there today and everything went to plan."

Paul Blake, who has cerebral palsy, took a hard-fought silver medal in his 1500m on his international debut with a time of four minutes 41.66 seconds.

With 200m to go Blake, battled with on the home straight with Artem Arefyev, but Russia's experienced world record holder and multiple Paralympic Games gold medallist edged him to victory.

"I thought I had him but my legs just gave up," said the 21-year-old.

"I'd obviously have loved to win it and maybe I broke too soon, but silver is amazing and I'm really happy. I know I've got a lot more to give."

Opening-day medals for GB para-athletes

There were also silver medals for wheelchair racer Mickey Bushell in his 100m and Bev Jones in the discus.

Jones set a new European record of 30.62m but it wasn't enough to beat Paralympic champion Na Mi of China who threw a new Championship record of 31.46m.

Bushell, who won silver in Beijing, was favourite going into his race but was edged out by China's Huzhao Li in the last few metres.

"I have to say I'm disappointed," he said. "But now I need to pick myself up and focus on my next race.

Senior international debutant Sally Brown exceeded all expectations to take bronze in the T46 200m.

"I can't believe it; last night I felt lucky enough to get into the final," said the 15-year-old from Northern Ireland.

"My goal was to get to the final and to PB [get a personal best] and I did both. When I came off the bend I thought 'Oh no, I'm going to come last', but I focused on the fact that I'd gone into the final as fourth-fastest and that gave me confidence.

"I don't think it's really sunk in yet."

Making it a trio of bronze medals, sprinters Tracey Hinton and Libby Clegg finished third in the T11 and T12 200m with in times of 27.43 seconds and 26.75 seconds respectively.

"I knew it was going to be tough going into the final but I always go for it because I've got nothing to lose and to get bronze is brilliant," said Hinton.

But Beijing Paralympic Games 100m silver medallist Clegg admitted she could have been quicker.

"There was quite a tough wind out there and I think I could have run the bend better," she said.

"But I accelerated off the bend and I was strong into the home straight so I'm happy with what I've done. It's a good start and I'll hopefully do better in the 100m, which is my main event."

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see also
Brown wins bronze in Christchurch
23 Jan 11 |  Disability Sport
World golds for GB's Paralympic athletes
23 Jan 11 |  Disability Sport
GB athletes off to winning start
22 Jan 11 |  Disability Sport
Earthquake fears do not shake GB Paralympians
21 Jan 11 |  Disability Sport
A-Z of Paralympic classification
28 Aug 08 |  Disability Sport
Disability Sport on the BBC
02 Nov 09 |  Disability Sport

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