Pride in our Paralympians

As the London 2012 summer of sport ends we celebrate the outstanding achievements of the Paralympic athletes associated with the University and take great pride in the Paralympians who are bringing home medals:

Bronze and silver on the track for Paul Blake

Paul BlakeBath-based athlete Paul Blake sprinted to silver in the T36 400m final in the second week of the Paralympics on Tuesday 4 September. The 22 year-old is coached at our Sports Training Village by Rob Ellchuck. He produced a classic 400m run in front of a capacity 80,000 crowd in the Olympic stadium.

“I was so nervous,” said Paul. “Rob told me to take in the crowd at the start and then concentrate on the first 200m, go out strong, not panic and try to stay between Shvetcov and Pavlyk which I did.

“The crowd was like having a second pair of legs, it was just amazing.”

Two nights later Paul went on to win a second medal, taking bronze in the 800m.

He came home in 2:08.24 – a time that would have earned him gold in Beijing four years ago.
He said: “I’m really happy with a silver and a bronze. I’m just trying to get better and better and I’ve got plenty of time to improve.

“It’s an honour to put the GB vest on every time, I’m really really proud.”

4x100m bronze for Katrina Hart

Katrina HartSports Performance graduate Katrina Hart rounded off a terrific evening in the Olympic Stadium by helping the ParalympicsGB 4x100m T35-38 relay quartet to bronze.

Katrina, who is also coached by Ellchuk at the University, ran the third leg for the British team as they came home third in 56.08 behind Russia and China.

She said: “I love that bend. I just absolutely went for it and I heard the crowd just roaring and it was incredible…amazing.

It was touch and go on the last leg but we held them off so it’s great.”

Bronze for swimmer Liz Johnson

Liz Johnson, left, with Charlotte HenshawLiz Johnson won bronze in the SB6 100m breaststroke final on Wednesday 5 September.

Liz trains at Bath and clocked a time of 1:40.90 to come home in third place behind Ukraine’s Viktoriia Savtsova, who set a Paralympic record, with Britain’s Charlotte Henshaw taking silver.

Liz's bronze means she now has a full set of medals, after winning silver in Athens eight years ago and gold in Beijing in 2008.

“I’ve never had a bronze medal, so now I’ve got the full set at the Paralympics,” said Johnson. “I’m definitely glad I got a medal in front of the home crowd.”

Ben Rushgrove wins 200m bronze

Ben RushgroveBen Rushgrove, a Sports Performance graduate who is also coached by Ellchuk, ran a personal best in the T36 200m final on Thursday 6 September to win a bronze medal. He ran a fantastic bend to achieve a personal best of 24.83 and adds bronze to the silver he won over 100m four years ago in Beijing.

“Now I’ve got my medal I can go out and celebrate what is an amazing achievement. I’m hugely privileged to have the opportunities I’ve had to pursue my dreams and see what comes of them,” said Ben.

“When you win your first Paralympic medal you enter quite an elite club of people already, but when you win two medals, that’s fantastic,” he added.

Congratulations to all of the athletes in our Paralympian Roll of Honour:

  • Darren Harris, football
  • Louise Hunt, tennis
  • Sophie Kamlish, T42/43/44 100m and 200m
  • Nyree Kindred, swimming
  • Sascha Kindred, swimming
  • Stephanie Millward, swimming
  • Alexandra Rickham, sailing
  • David Smith, rowing
  • Matthew Walker, swimming

And to all of the ParalympicGB athletes who trained at Bath ahead of the Paralympic Games.

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