Richard Whitehead

Great Britain and Loughborough's Richard Whitehead with his silver medal on the podium after finishing second in the men's 200m T61 final. Image provided by Alamy / PA.

Night of high drama sees Loughborough win three more Paralympic medals

Loughborough-linked athletes helped Great Britain to three more Paralympic medals after a night of sporting drama at the National Stadium, Tokyo.

In the men’s 200m T61, Richard Whitehead claimed silver with a season’s best time of 23.99 seconds.

The 45-year-old double Paralympic gold medal winner missed out to South Africa’s Ntando Mahlangu, who crossed the line in 23.59.

"It was tough waiting two-and-a-half weeks to get going. Mahlangu is such a great guy. He is the face of the Games,” he said.

Speaking about what could be next in his career, Whitehead added:

"We really need to push forward. I think some events are dying within the Paralympic arena. We all talk about what happens next. Whether I am on the track or a performance manager....".

Fellow Loughborough-based athlete Hollie Arnold was defending her Rio 2016 title in the women’s javelin F46 but had to settle for bronze after a tense final round.

Arnold, who is coached by the University’s David Turner, was leading after her first-round throw of 39.05m until New Zealand’s Holly Robinson recorded 40.99m to take gold and Noelle Roorda of the Netherlands hit 40.06m to claim second place.

Back on the track, there was another Loughborough silver in the inaugural 4x100m universal relay.

The event, which brings together sprinters from different classifications, featured Jonnie Peacock and Libby Clegg (and guide runner Chris Clarke) with the GB team holding off pressure from hosts Japan to finish in 47.50 seconds for what was originally a bronze medal.

However, this was upgraded to silver post-race after China were disqualified. 

Libby Clegg signed off a sterling Paralympic career with the podium finish. She told Channel 4 how she was proud to bring home a medal:

"This is my proudest Paralympic moment right now, I am so happy to have this as my last race."

If you’re feeling inspired by the Paralympic Games, you can help support the future of Para sport on campus. By donating to the Para Sport programme, individuals can make a profound impact to a young person’s life. To find out how you can help, visit HERE.

For more information on Loughborough and its presence at the Paralympic Games, visit the dedicated website HERE.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 21/192

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2021 QS World University Rankings and University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 7th in the Guardian University League Table 2021, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.