13 Sep 2016
Broom-Edwards reaches new heights with Paralympic silver
Loughborough University graduate Jonathan Broom-Edwards secured his first Paralympic medal as he won high jump silver on day five of the Paralympic Games.
Taking on long term rival Poland’s Maciej Lepiato, the duo produced another brilliant duel, with the Pole needing a world record to take gold.
For Broom-Edwards, who still trains at Loughborough having graduated with an aeronautical engineering degree, his best clearance of 2.10m equalled his season’s best as he went one better than the bronze he won at the European Championships earlier this summer.
“It means a lot to me. This has been such an experience – it’s unlike anything else in my life. I’ve had a lot of fun; it would have been nice to go higher because I know it is within me but I’m still relatively new to this so for the next one I will aim to just tighten it up a bit.”
After competing in the sprints four years ago at London 2012, it has been quite a transition for Sam Ruddock as he finished sixth in the F35 shot put in Rio. After winning a maiden European title in June, Ruddock, another Loughborough alumni, came to the Games with confidence and finished the competition with a best of 12.70m.
A frustrated Ruddock spoke afterwards: “I’m thoroughly disappointed because I don’t know what more I could have given. I tried to find something extra – I had it in me but I tried too hard. It was there but I didn’t let it come out naturally. I don’t know whether it was the occasion or the pressure I put on myself. I had that amazing win out in Grosseto at the Europeans but I know the quality was high today – they were throwing 14-15m. I will catch them eventually but it wasn’t going to be tonight.”
Libby Clegg and guide runner Chris Clarke continued to impress as they made it two wins in a day to go into tomorrow’s T11 200m final. After setting a new 200m world record in London last month, the duo have gone from strength-to-strength, winning the Paralympic title over 100m earlier this week.
On the water, alumna Hannah Stodel got her Paralympic campaign underway as part of a three man crew in the sonar competition. It is the fourth Paralympics that Stodel and her teammates John Robertson and Stephen Thomas have competed in as a team, and they are fully focused on landing their first Games silverware having been denied a bronze in cruel fashion four years ago due to an off-the-water penalty.
They have headed to Rio as one of the favourites for a medal, having claimed the 2015 Sonar World Championship title in Melbourne last winter and then followed that up with silver at the 2016 event in the Netherlands, in May.
So while the pressure is on to finally take their place on the podium, the British trio are full of confidence that they can finally achieve their career dream.
"We’ve been working for four Games to try to come away with a medal. We’ve got to walk away with a medal; it’s everything we’ve worked for. We’ve proved we can do it time and time again at Worlds so we can definitely do it.”
In the first day of competition they finished down in ninth place, so will be looking to bounce back with a better result on Tuesday.