It was gold again for Jonnie Peacock on the third day of action at the World Para Athletics Championships, the sprint star rekindling a bit of London 2012 magic.
After adding Rio 2016 Paralympic gold to the gold he won in London four years previous, the Loughborough University based T44 100m man returned to the scene of his original triumph, the home crowd roaring his every move.
Despite a less than perfect start, Peacock powered through the field, coming clear over the final 40m to add a second World Championship gold to his ever growing collection. His 10.75 time was just one hundredth quicker than he ran at the Loughborough International back in May, but it wasn’t all plain sailing.
“That was so scary. I got cramp in my hamstring in the warm-up and I was stretching it over and over, which is not something you are normally doing at the start. I was so thankful I got the finish line in one piece.
“I just wanted the hamstring to hold up and get across the line. I am over the moon I managed to do it. Coming back to this stadium is insane. Why not enter a bid for the 2019 championships? I would definitely back it!”
Earlier on in the evening, Peacock lowered the European record with a 10.64 run, a great first 60m allowing the luxury of easing down in the closing stages. His next target will undoubtedly be an assault on the 10.61 world record.
There was disappointment however for Loughborough University alumnus Dan Greaves, the GB captain just missing out on a medal as he finished fourth in the F44 discus final.
Greaves, a five-time Paralympic and four-time World medallist was fifth overall heading into round six, before producing his best throw. His 57.01m, which moved him up to fourth overall, was agonizingly short of the 57.33m recorded by Ivan Katanusic in the preceding throw – a personal best when it mattered most for the Croatian.
For Greaves, a stalwart of British teams for over 15 years, the disappointment was evident:
“I’m very heartbroken; it wasn’t the performance I know I am capable of so it is really tough for me. I don’t know why because I felt in great shape and was warming up nicely with a 59m throw, but that’s elite sport sometimes. It is just heart breaking when you know you are better than that performance.
“I know I have been around for a long time, and I have had some great success. I’ve got a family now but I have got to go away and think about this performance because you can’t get emotionally wrapped up in it. I don’t want to bow out on that performance and this feeling.
“I wanted to go out there and lead by example. Hollie [Arnold] did amazingly last night and after all those performances I was so pumped. I think that makes it more gut-wrenching! But the team are doing fantastically well and I am so proud of them all.”
There was a fifth place finish in the F33 shout put for Loughborough based Kieran Tscherniawksy, and he was more than happy with his 9.28m effort.
“I am really pleased with my performance and the distance is a big improvement from Rio. The placing is the same but I am happy to be throwing well at a World Championships. I was consistent and that is all I can ask for; I did my best.
“The atmosphere was a bit surreal. We had quite a bit of time between throws so I was taking the noise from the crowd in; they were really great.”
Also in action in the throws was another alumnus Sam Ruddock, and he finished seventh in the F35 shot put with a best of 12.84m, just 9cm shy of his season’s best. Sixth in Rio last summer, Ruddock can be proud of his efforts.
“The atmosphere was just stunning. I was lucky enough to compete here in 2012 but I was doing the sprints then. The noise in my sixth round today in the shot put was something else. It is a moment I’ll never forget and I’ll cherish forever.
“I wish the competition had gone better for me. My training has been going superbly so I am disappointed with the end result – I would love to have thrown further.”