By Nilesh Patel
- Hannah Cockroft makes it a hat-trick of golds in T34 800m final
- Paul Blake makes it three-out-of-three as he takes gold in third games
- Team GB’s two golds on day nine total 15 golds on the track and field
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Day nine of the Rio Paralympic games was another medal laden day as Team GB take another four medals in the athletics.
Hannah Cockroft headlined day nine’s athletic coverage as she aimed to win the fifth Paralympic gold of her career, and complete a golden treble in Rio.
The event was the T34 800m final, which was classed for athletes with cerebral palsy or similar conditions who are also wheelchair users.
The double Paralympic champion was favourite in lane 4, where she would compete alongside fellow Briton – Kare Adenegan – who at the age of 15 was competing in her first Paralympic games.
Nevertheless the two para-athletes were both looking for their third medal of the summer with the two sprinters finishing on the same podium of each race. For Cockroft her eyes were always on gold; Adenegan however had a 100m silver and 400m bronze to her name and was looking to cause an upset.
From the start, Cockroft took a large lead into the first two laps. The gap shortened towards the finish but it was a comfortable triumph nonetheless for the five-time Paralympic champion.
The golden girl from Halifax added the 800m title to her 400m and 100m titles from earlier in the week and can salute to what was a flawless Paralympic games for her.
At the age of 24, there is no doubt that she won’t feature in Tokyo 2020 but what is for certain is she will face stiff competition from Adenegan.
The schoolgirl from Coventry ended the race in third, adding another bronze to her medal tally. Earlier in the week, Adenegan took silver in the 100m and bronze in the 400m, finishing behind Cockroft in all events. In Tokyo she will surely be hoping to match her compatriot if not better her.
Team GB claimed their 50th gold of the games when Paul Blake took gold in the T36 400m final.
Blake won comprehensively with a time of 54.49secs, almost a second ahead of his competition.
His run was his first Paralympic gold of his career, having only won silver and bronze in London 2012 in the 400m and 800m respectively.
The 26-year-old will have high hopes of continuing his success at the games by winning a double gold in the 800m. The 800m final takes place tomorrow and will give Blake the chance to become a double Paralympic champion.
The final day nine athletics medal was claimed on the field by Dan Greaves. Bronze was the colour for the British thrower as he finished third in the F44 discus final.
In the event which is classified for athletes whose lower and/or upper limbs are affected or have been amputated Greaves had already won four Paralympic medals.
His last gold was won at Athens in 2004 and in what was his fifth Paralympics, he would have felt disappointed not to throw further and move higher up the podium. However being ranked fourth before the games, the thrower can be proud of his bronze place finish.
There was bad news for Great Britain’s Richard Chiassaro in the men’s 100m T54 heats, as he failed to qualify for the final.
The wheelchair athlete could only come third in his heat, missing out on automatic qualification.
Chiassaro’s disappointment was doubled when the men’s T53/54 4×400 relay team missed qualification to the final.
The quartet made up of David Weir, Moatez Jomni, Nathan Maguire and Chiassaro failed to qualify with the athletes unsure about the required benchmark time they needed.
This topped off what was a discouraging final Paralympic games for Weir. The five time Paralympic champion announced his retirement shortly after his sixth place finish in an individual race and will leave Rio without a medal.
The penultimate day of athletics begins today at 10:00BST
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