Loughborough athletes return to UK with clutch of medals

Thomas Young racing

Tom Young in action at Loughborough International 2023. Image provided by Garrett Fisher.

Loughborough-linked athletes returned home from the World Para Athletics Championship with a huge medal haul after several impressive performances.

Held in Kobe, Japan, sports stars from across the University made the podium in one of the last competitive meets before the Paris Paralympic Games.

Alumnus Jonathan Broom-Edwards secured his third consecutive men’s T64 High Jump world title by clearing 2.04m on his first attempt. The USA’s Derek Loccident also went over the same height, but it was Broom-Edwards’ gold as his cleaner scorecard saw him take the title on countback.

Speaking afterwards, the double paralympic medallist said: “We set out a plan and we put it into motion, and we ticked all the boxes. There is still a lot to work on with the performance even though it is early in the season. I am so happy with how the competition went. My body is battered now, I think I celebrated a bit too hard on the 2.04m clearance!

“I had to adjust to lots of things, the competition, the temperature. It’s quite late here whereas my final in Paris (Paralympics) will be in the morning, but I have to get a little better at managing my hydration and energy levels.

“It is amazing to see the sport is evolving, to see the young whipper snappers coming up and teaching us old dogs how to do it.”

On the track, Loughborough scholar Tom Young continued his fine form following return from injury to win silver in the T38 100m. In an explosive race, the 23-year-old crossed the line in 11.02 seconds to take another global podium place.

“I would’ve loved to have got the win, but we have got Paris in a couple of months’ time so that is the main focus of the year, but that was a brilliant run today,” he said.

“It was an unbelievable race to be a part of. The T38 class is so strong right now, so to be involved in the medals is incredible.”

Another alumnus, Zac Shaw earned his second world bronze medal in the T12 100m. Starting strongly, he gave everything to clock 10.97, dramatically beating his closest rival.

“I didn’t think I’d cry but I am so happy,” Shaw said.

“Competing in a visually impaired class, I could tell the two in the middle were away, but I couldn’t see what the athlete in lane two was doing, so I wasn’t sure if I had won the bronze. It genuinely means the world to me.

“Last year I got silver in the relay and bronze in the individual. So, to win bronze again is amazing – I think I came into the Championships with little expectations as it is so early in the season, so to open up and win a medal at a worlds means so much to me.”

Shaw, alongside Loughborough-based Ali Smith, also won a superb silver in the Universal 4x100m Relay.

Elsewhere, fellow Loughborough-based Hollie Arnold secured an incredible sixth world title in the F46 javelin. The 2016 Paralympic champion showed her true class by recording a mammoth 40.89m to take yet another impressive gold.