World Champs medal joy for Samantha and Maria in Paris

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Wednesday 12th July 2023

Paris medal photos from Pamela Robson

Gavin wins Para Worlds gold in Paris

Scottish Para stars Maria Lyle and Samantha Kinghorn added to the growing GB and Ni medal tally at the World Para Champs in Paris on Tuesday evening.

It was bronze for Maria over 200m and silver for joint team captain Samantha over 800m in the French capital.

Kinghorn of course is a proven major championship performer and produced her best world result in six years – since winning double gold over sprint distances at the memorable global gathering in London – as she claimed a superb silver in the women’s T53 800m in Paris.

Lyle and a World Championships tends to equal medals but the twice gold medallist from Dubai in 2019 certainly took nothing for granted as she powered to a brilliant bronze in the women’s T35 200m for her eighth career medal from this type of global gathering.

Kinghorn made a concerted effort to get a fast start in the women’s T53 800m final to give her the best chance of a medal and achieved exactly that.

She was within 15 metres of Catherine Debrunner after the first lap and while the Swiss powered away further to win gold, the effort put in made certain a silver for Kinghorn with Turkey’s Hamide Dogangun having no chance to chase her down.

The result marked Kinghorn’s best performance at World Championships since 2017, with a bronze achieved over 100m in 2019, with her time for silver 1:44.98 minutes.

‘I think at the start of my career if you’d said to me I was going to win a World Champs medal over 800m I would have laughed,’ she said.

‘But I’m slowly, apparently, becoming a bit more of an endurance wheelchair racer which is just mad. I definitely felt the medal was within my reach – I really wanted to try get on the back of Catherine but that wasn’t there.

‘I wasn’t far off getting on her at the break line, so I just know there’s that little bit missing – and I’ve got until next year to try make that up and really get there.

‘I feel pretty confident for the 400m and 100m, I’m really looking forward to them. I’ll just try and go out there and fight for another medal.’

In the first track final for the British team on the night, Lyle faced a stern test to add an eighth career World Championship medal to her impressive haul in the women’s T35 200m but she was more than up to the challenge and powered to a brilliant bronze.

After a solid enough start to the final, the battle was well and truly on as the field came out of the bend with China’s Zhou Xia and Guo Qianqian slightly ahead and defending champion Lyle seemingly in a line with Fatimah Suwaed of Iraq.

The Chinese pair would take gold and silver in that order while Lyle showed her class over the final 50m to streak away from Suwaed to officially open up the British team’s haul for the night with bronze in 31.01.

Lyle still has the T35 100m to come in Paris and said: ‘I am just so relieved. It has been such a hard year.

‘I was injured the whole of last year and had surgery on my foot and to be honest I wasn’t running for a lot of it. Those issues I’ve had from surgery have really plagued me up until this year, so I am thankful to everyone who has got me to this point.

‘I am not really in the shape I want to be in, so I really had to believe in what I have done before to get me around and run with fear almost. I am just over the moon.

‘I am feeling much more relaxed with my 100m. I have been able to do a lot more work, so the pressure is off now that I have managed to get a medal. I don’t have to worry about that and hopefully execute a good race and try and enjoy myself as much as I can.’

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Tags:
Maria Lyle, Paris, Samantha Kinghorn, World Para Champs, World Para Champs 2023





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