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Sammi Kinghorn claims second medal in London

Sammi Kinghorn claims second medal in London

Wednesday 19 July 2017

Sammi Kinghorn claims second medal in London

The wheelchair racer won T53 200 metres gold on Saturday and and added Britain’s 22nd medal with 400m bronze on Wednesday.

Sammi Kinghorn reflected on her “darkest days” after claiming her second medal of the World Para Athletics Championships on Wednesday’s sixth day of competition at the London Stadium.

Wheelchair racer Kinghorn won T53 200 metres gold on Saturday – one of 11 gold medals for the hosts in the first four days of competition – and added Britain’s 22nd medal with 400m bronze on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old Scot was 14 when playing with friends on the snow at the family farm in the Scottish Borders when she was crushed by a forklift truck driven by her father, Neil, resulting in her paralysis from the waist down.

Kinghorn reflected on the tragic accident in an interview ahead of these championships and allowed herself to ponder her personal journey after becoming a world champion on Sunday.

“I appreciate my story,” said Kinghorn, who competed at last September’s Rio Paralympics.

“I can still remember the darkest days where you think you’re never going to get out of bed and you’re never going to amount to anything, because you’ve never met anyone in a wheelchair and you don’t know what life’s going to be like in a wheelchair.

“After I won gold in the 200, I lay in bed that night and was like ‘wow’.

“And I’m not that great at complimenting myself, but I did lie in bed that night and think ‘I’ve come really far’.

“And I just hope other people can see me out there that are going through horrible things like accidents and can think to themselves ‘get up and do something’, because life doesn’t end with something like that.”

Kinghorn, who is being watched by her family here, has two more opportunities to add to her medal haul and is competing over 100m and 800m, both on Sunday’s final day.

She dug deep to claim 400m bronze after making the most of her fast start.

Zhou Hongzhuan of China won gold in 55.22 seconds, Chelsea McClammer of the United States took silver in 55.50secs and Kinghorn finished in 55.71 after holding off Australia’s Angela Ballard in a photo finish.

“I knew I had the strongest start, but I knew after that it was going to be tough,” Kinghorn said.

“Fourth’s never a nice place to come, but I’d accepted that was probably where I was going to come; still two places better than Rio.

“When I came on to the straight, seeing how close I was in my head ‘this is your opportunity’.

“I couldn’t feel my arms crossing the line. I was watching both our wheels cross the line and I had no idea.

“It was horrible waiting for my name to come up on that board. I can’t believe it came up in third.”

After a barren day on Tuesday’s fifth day for Britain, Maria Lyle claimed T35 100m bronze.

It was the 17-year-old Scot’s second bronze medal as she finished behind Australia’s Isis Holt, who won in a world record 13.43.

Lyle, who has cerebral palsy and finished third over 200m on Sunday, has been nursing a shin injury since the holding camp and feared she might not be able to compete.

The Scot, who planned to celebrate with a chicken korma, said: “I was preparing myself not to run, so to manage to finish both races and get a medal, I couldn’t ask for any more.”

Lyle was 12 when London hosted the 2012 Paralympics.

She added: “I remember watching on TV and thinking ‘I want to do that’. It’s amazing getting this opportunity. I’m making the most of the experience.”

Home hopes on Thursday centre on wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft, who will bid for her third title of London 2017 and 10th world title on Thursday in the T34 400m.

The five-time Paralympic champion has already won 100m and 800m gold here.

Wheelchair racer Tatyana McFadden of the United States claimed her fourth gold of the championships with victory in the T54 800m on Wednesday night.

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