13th Aug 2019

Stars of the future compete at World Para Athletics Junior Championships

Three welsh athletes headed to Switzerland for the World Para Athletics Junior Championships in Nottwil.

Caldicot’s Kirsty Taylor was also given the honour of being named Great Britain team captain and led by example by winning two Silver medals.

Taylor clocked a huge personal best of 30.01 (+0.5) in the U20 women’s T44-64 200m. Coming off the bend hard, Kirsty threw everything into her race, and on Raza points, she claimed the silver medal overall, while the race was won by Ecuador’s Kiara Rodriguez.

The Welsh athlete who is trained by Morgan Jones said: “I am so happy. I ran a really big PB; I took almost a second off my previous best, so I am really pleased. I ran really hard from the start and just gave everything. My plan was to push hard through the bend and them come off nice and tall in the straight. I think I executed it well so I’m really happy.

“I have got a lot of support from the guys at Disability Sport Wales who are out here. When they told me that I had won silver, I was so happy. My family are here as well so it is just a great moment.”

Taylor claimed a stunning second silver medal in the U20 women’s T42-64 100m on Raza points. Getting out of the blocks well, Taylor ran a very controlled race, clocking 14.56 (-2.2).

The British team captain was delighted with her weeks work at the Championships and summarised after her race:

“It went well – I got a really good start and was quite close to the field by the end, so I’m happy to win the silver on points. I’m still on a high after winning silver and a PB yesterday, so I think that helped me today. It certainly gave me more confidence. It’s great to see so many of my teammates winning medals as well, so it really gives you a lift.”

Meanwhile, John Bridge (Matt Elias; Cardiff) [T47] delivered a solid performance in the U20 men’s T42-64 400m, placing fourth on Raza points.

After a faulty start added more tension to the atmosphere, on the second time of asking, they got away strongly, with the Welshman powering through the opening 200m. However, he said post-race that he tired in the final 200m, finishing in a time of 52.40.

Bridge added: “I think I went through 200m in quite a good time, but I couldn’t keep it up. I felt like it was consistent, but my energy levels dropped a bit, it wasn’t as smooth.”

Molly Hopkins (Morgan Jones; DSW Para Academy) [T62] ran as part of a European Select universal relay team, taking on the second leg. Running alongside members of other countries, Hopkins’ team placed second in the non-medal event.

Gemma Cutter, Disability Sport Wales Performance Pathway Officer said: “To have three junior athletes selected for GB to represent Great Britain at the World Para Athletics Championships was an amazing achievement and we are all extremely proud of Kirsty, Molly and John. This is only the beginning of their journey, we are really looking forward to seeing them develop further and what the future holds for not only them but all our athletes who are engaged on the pathway programme. It is an exciting time for all of us involved.”

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