Rio Paralympics 2016: Silver lining for Brits in athletics


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By Nilesh Patel

  • Britain settle for silver in women’s T35-38 4x100m relay
  • Richard Whitehead takes second medal in tight T42 100m final.
  • David Weir announces retirement after 2016 Paralympic games
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL –  Team GB add two more silvers to their medal tally on day eight of the athletics, increasing the athletics medal tally to 27.




Last night’s athletics action saw Team GB claim two silvers on the track and field, helping boost the medal haul to 108 medals in eight days in Rio.

The first silver on the track was won by the British women’s relay team in the T35-38 4×100 final.

Team GB were able to group together a strong quartet as the T35-38 classification allows for athletes with cerebral palsy or similar condition, who are able to run, to compete in the relay.

The team made up of: Kadeena Cox, Maria Lyle, Georgie Hermitage and Sophie Hahn already had a host of individual medals to their name but couldn’t quite beat the Chinese team with the baton.

The British and Chinese relay teams were far out from the rest of the competition on the final 100m, leaving Hahn to chase down gold. Unfortunately, their time of 51.07secs – three tenths of a second slower than China – was just enough for silver.

With a total of seven individual medals for the relay team at the games already, Cox and co would have hoped to add another gold to their tally. Nevertheless, this was the first silver at Rio for either athlete.

Lyle added to her bronze in the T35 100m final whereas for Hahn, she added the relay silver to her gold in the T38 100m final.

For Cox and Hermitage it was an opportunity missed as they would have completed a golden treble at the Paralympics. Hermitage had already claimed gold in the T37 100m as well as gold and a world record time in the 400m final. On the other hand, Cox won her first gold in the time trial at the velodrome and added a gold and a bronze on the track in the 400m and 100m finals respectively.

The second silver in the athletics was won by double leg amputee Richard Whitehead. The sprinter narrowly missed out on completing a golden double at the games as he settled for silver in the T42 100m final.

Whitehead, having already won gold in the T42 200m was favourite to pick up gold in the 100m but a slow start meant the 40-year-old was chasing gold from the start.

In the 200m Whitehead was able to recover from a slow start with a speedy last 100m, however in the 100m final the sprinter made the podium through a joint second-place finish with Scott Reardon of Australia.

For the British athlete, this was his third Paralympic medal; having won gold in the 200m earlier this week and claiming gold in the same event at London 2012. Whitehead, aged 40, is unsure decide whether he will continue his athletics future into another Paralympic games.

Elsewhere on the track, six time Paralympic champion David Weir confirmed his intention to retire from the track after Rio 2016, and from the sport entirely after April’s London Marathon. The 37-year-old’s announcement was made shortly after he finished sixth in yesterday’s T54 800m final.

Day nine’s Paralympic schedule starts at 2:00pm BST