IPC Athletics: British trio add to European golden haul

Paralympian Aled Davies

Davies is the dominant figure in his category

Aled Davies, Georgie Hermitage and David Weir all added to their gold medal tallies as Great Britain enjoyed another successful day at the IPC Athletics European Championships.

Welshman Davies won his second gold in Italy with an F42 discus world record after his shot success on Sunday.

Hermitage also won gold number two with a world record in the T37 200m.

Weir claimed his third gold, again leading home team-mate Richard Chiassaro, this time in the T54 800m.

There was also a superb silver for London 2012 double bronze medallist David Devine in the T13 1500m after over three years out injured and for veteran Graeme Ballard (T36 100m), while Stephen Miller (F32 club) and Isaac Towers (T34 200m) took bronzes.

Davies had a best throw of 54.14m, beating his previous record of 49.59 and his winning margin in the event, which is not part of the Rio programme, was more than eight metres.

“I am absolutely delighted with that result,” said the 25-year-old. “To throw a personal best on the main stage is something every athlete wants to do. For me, I was even more shocked because I haven’t been doing too much discus this year as I have been focusing on the shot put for Rio, but I know there is a lot more in the tank.

“I know I can throw a long way but the fact that I am surprised myself is very exciting.”

Hermitage followed up her T37 400m success with another superb performance, clocking 27.21 to beat France’s Marie-Francois Elie’s 28.35 set at the 2013 Worlds in Lyon.

“I’m just so happy to get the world record and win a second European gold medal,” she said. “The 400m on Monday was very pressurised but the 200m isn’t a Rio event for me, however it is something I still really enjoy. I went into it a lot calmer and more relaxed so maybe that helped.”

Devine was overhauled late on in his race by Poland’s Lucasz Wietecki but the 24-year-old Liverpudlian, who only returned to training in December, had mixed feelings on his comeback.

“It is obviously great to win a medal again but I’m a little disappointed that I wasn’t strong enough to hold on for the gold,” he said.

“I’ve only only raced three times since London so it is bound to take some time to get race fit. Give me a couple of months and I’ll be able to hold them off.

“There have been so many times when I have wanted to quit but my mum and dad told me I couldn’t because I had too much talent and was too good to give in.”

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