Athletics: Team GB's Hannah Cockroft breezes into 200m final

 

Hannah Cockroft lived up to her nickname of 'Hurricane Hannah' as she closed in on her second Paralympic gold with another dominant ride this morning.

The 20-year-old wheelchair racer broke the Paralympic record to win her T34 200m heat in 33.20 seconds, more than two seconds clear of the field.

The Halifax athlete, who sparked the gold rush for Great Britain's athletes by winning the 100m title on Friday night, is so far ahead of the competition that another triumph in the final tonight looks all but assured.

"I feel like I'm flying, I'm pretty happy with that race," she said.

"It was the slower of the two heats and that made me overly confident, which I didn't like, but I got the Paralympic record so I can't complain with that.

"I've just got to keep my feet on the floor until tonight and hopefully I can do it again."

One athlete who can now put her feet up, though, is sprinter-turned-thrower Beverley Jones, who won the hosts' 19th medal at the Olympic Stadium. Four years ago the athletics team managed just 17 in total.

The 37-year-old, who won a Commonwealth Games 100m bronze medal in 2006 and represented Wales at cricket, threw 30.99m to take the F37 discus bronze.

Jones, who has cerebral palsy, finished behind Chinese pair Mi Na and Xu Qiuping.

She said: "I am very happy indeed. The crowd support was fantastic.

"I felt a bit of pressure, but I knew I had to hold it together.

"Seeing my room-mate Gemma Prescott win a medal (bronze in the club throw) made me want to get one as well."

Ireland's Jason Smyth moved a step closer to completing the sprint double by blowing away the opposition to cruise into the T13 200m final.

The 25-year-old, who trains alongside Tyson Gay in Florida, came within 0.05secs of his own world record by winning his heat in 21.48s.

The defending champion, who is visually impaired because of Stargardt disease, is known as the fastest Paralympian on the planet, having already retained his 100m crown.

He said: "I was actually a little disappointed (not to break the world record). To be honest, I was hoping to sneak over it this time. But my priority is to get to the final.

"I would have liked to have run a few hundredths faster, I think I can."

PA

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