Hollie Arnold (coach: Anthony Hughes) and Georgie Hermitage (Paul MacGregor) both won gold with world record efforts, with Stephen Miller (Ros Miller) winning bronze as medals rained down at the Estadio Olimpico for ParalympicsGB.
Arnold enjoyed a magnificent series in the F46 javelin as she set a world record of 43.01m in round two which was an improvement on her own previous best by just under 2.5 metres. The reigning world champion had extended her personal best with her very first throw, putting pressure on her competitors early on. And in her third Paralympic Games, she held on to secure her golden moment on the podium.
The Paralympic champion said: “It is pretty surreal really; it was just one of those days when everything went right. I knew I had to go out there and perform to my absolute best. I wanted to put myself into a strong position and I think I led the whole way. I didn’t even think it was my last throw (on world record effort) – so when it came up on the board as 43.01m I just thought, ‘oh wow!’ I just burst into tears; I never expected it to go that far.
“I’ve had about two to three months out with a shoulder injury this year but I’ve been working hard through rehab and trying to do as much as possible to be in the best possible shape. I felt positive about it – I’ve done some great work with the team so I cannot thank them enough. I didn’t really hurt too much on the shoulder as I guess adrenaline kicked in.”
Hermitage was in phenomenal form as she lowered her own previous world best in the 400m to 1:00.53 and took her second gold medal at this Paralympic Games. The 100m champion attacked down the back straight, going alongside French rival Mandy Francois-Elie of France before they hit the bend. From this point onwards, the Briton controlled the race and continued to accelerate towards the line to take the title.
A delighted Hermitage spoke afterwards: “I did what I needed to do so I’m happy. The heat is good thing for my hemiplegia as it loosens my muscles off, but I’ve still got to cope with the humidity. I’m really happy and relieved and I can relax for a day now before the relay.
“I was very nervous for this one because the 400m means everything, but I’ve pulled it off and hopefully there’s more in the tank in years to come.”