Medal Haul for Team GB at 2011 European Athletics Championships
Double gold, plus silver and bronze at the 5th INAS European Indoor Athletics Championships for Team GB returning home with a well earned place on the medal table.
Claire Ryan (Bradford) sprinted to victory in the 200m (27.85) just ahead of Marianne Verdonk (Netherlands) in a hard fought race. Ryan’s 400m performance also earned her gold whilst narrowly missing out on bronze with her 4th place long jump finish of 4.55. Andrew Kaar (Solihull) scooped silver in the3000m (9.04.22), and bronze in the 1500m (4.12.27) behind Russia and Poland, but was beaten to third place by a narrow margin.
Sixteen year old, Kimberley Aspland (Beccles) achieved 5th and 6th place in the 800m and 1500m respectively with Holly Durbidge (Lowestoft) achieving 5th in the 60m and Thomas Poulton-White (Bradford) throwing 10,24 earning 7th place in the shot putt.
Reflecting on the Championships, medallist Andrew Kaar said
“Competition was difficult, with tough opponents especially the Polish athlete Daniel Pek who is especially fast at the end of races. I was pleased with my performance though, particularly silver in the 3000m and I thought Team GB performed well overall.”
Tracey McCillen, Chief Executive UK Sports Association said
“Good medal performances from Andrew and Claire and our congratulations go to them and Team GB. We’ve had some strong performances and can see new talent emerging on the road to Paralympics.. Everyone’s focus is London 2012 so now the sports specific classification system for athletics is crucial and needs to be in place sooner rather than later. We are in the hands of INAS and IPC and I hope announcements will be made soon so events are secure for London 2012”.
Sports specific classification is part of the Joint Action Plan agreed by INAS-FID and IPC at the November 2009 IPC General Assembly when the ban on athletes with intellectual disability competing in the Paralympic Games was removed.
The event, hosted by the Finnish Sports Association under the auspices of INAS (Europe) took place during 17th to 21st March 2011 in Helsinki.