World Para-Athletics Championships: Great Britain’s Paul Blake wins gold on first day

Great Britain’s Paul Blake dominated to win T36 800m gold on the first day of the World Para-Athletics Championships.

The 29-year-old, who previously won the title in 2013 and 2015, finished in two minutes 07.44 seconds in Dubai.

Algeria’s Sid Ali Bouzourine took silver, seven seconds back, with Spain’s Jose Pampano taking bronze.

“It was good fun,” he told BBC Sport. “My coach told me to go through in exactly what I went through so I’m happy with that.

“Normally I get too excited and shoot off before dying towards the end, but that wasn’t the case this time, I got my tactics right on the day and came through.

“To come away with a gold for Great Britain is always massive.”

The medal is Britain’s first in Dubai but their second of the competition after Derek Rae took silver in the T45/46 category at the London Marathon – which doubled as a World Championship race.

Blake, who has cerebral palsy, will also compete in the 400m in Dubai – the event in which he is the current Paralympic champion – with heats starting next Wednesday.

However, he will not race the 800m at the Tokyo Paralympics next year as the event has not been included in the programme.

“It’s a real shame, because the strength in depth is there, but it just demoralises the event,” he said.

“There’s more than enough athletes to put it on. It forces the other T36 athletes to move down to the sprints because it’s a medal event in Tokyo, but if you don’t come from a sprint background like I don’t, it’s really hard to make the transition.”

Elsewhere, Britain’s reigning world champion Sammi Kinghorn eased through her T53 100m heat, winning in a season’s best time of 16.39 seconds.

The 23-year-old, who was out of action for seven weeks in the summer after having surgery in June, will compete in the final on Friday.

But Mickey Bushell finished fifth in his T53 100m heat, while British team-mate Nathan Maguire also missed out on a final after finishing last in his T54 100m semi-final.

The 22-year-old still has plenty to come though as he is due to also compete in the 400m, 800m and universal 4x100m relay later in the championships.

Source: Read Full Article