Silver lining for Ballard

26-Jul-2013 12:00 AM

The Australian team has won four more medals on Day 6 of competition at the IPC Athletics World Championships, with Angela Ballard (NSW) taking home SILVER in the women’s T53 wheelchair 100m and Michael Roeger (SA), Kath Proudfoot (ACT) and Rheed McCracken (Qld) all winning BRONZE.

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Continuing what has been a very impressive week for the three-time Paralympian, Ballard’s effort for second adds a third medal to her Lyon 2013 campaign after also winning silver in both the 200m and 800m.
Excitingly for the Sydney-sider, it also means that she can now focus on her favourite event, the 400m, after crossing the line today in 17.64 behind Lisha Huang (CHN, first, 17.09).
“I went quicker yesterday in the heats and I wanted to improve on that today in the final, so from that perspective the result isn’t fantastic. That said I have a silver medal for my efforts and that’s not a result worth ignoring,” Ballard said.
“I’m probably more excited about now being able to focus on the 400m. It’s without doubt my favourite event and I have been sort of preparing for it all week by making sure my rest is constant and my recoveries are good. It’s going to be a great end to my championships and hopefully I can give it a really good crack.
“I’m very happy with my results so far, and so is my coach which is always good. I have some things I need to do to take my performances from silver to gold long term but to have three medals now, and hopefully another one from the 400m is just fantastic.”
Roeger’s bronze medal was won in the men’s T46 arm amputee 1500m in a time of 4:06.74, with the Canberra-based South Australian adding a second medal to his IPC Athletics World Championships tally after crossing third in the 5000m as the first Australian on the track on Day 1 of competition.
“The first lap was really slow, but my coach and I decided to sit in the pack this time rather than lead like I did in the 5000m. It was about biding my time and remaining calm, then trying to make a move later in the race. With about 600m to go I took it on going to the front, then even when the Algerian, who is a great athlete, came past me I thought I would be able to chase him down after his busy program but it wasn’t to be. He was a bit strong in the sprint,” Roeger said.
The two medals that Roeger has won here are the first of his career and will spur him on to bigger and better things at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha (QAT) and the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.
“I am so happy with this campaign, two major championship medals. This has been seven years in the making and it makes me real emotional to think of all the hard work I have put in and all the help I have had to get here from people like Athletics Australia, the APC and the AIS, and obviously my coaches over the journey. It’s been an amazing week that’s for sure,” Roeger added.
The two-time Paralympian Proudfoot added another third place to the one she delivered in the shot put just days ago when she threw 24.91m on her third attempt in the F35/36 javelin throw for athletes with cerebral palsy. Opening her account with a 23.42m hurl, Proudfoot, who is coached by Aaron Holt, continued with 23.25m, her best throw, 24.61m, a foul and 24.41m to close. Mariia Pomazan (UKR) won the gold medal with a world record throw of 31.42m.      
McCracken, meanwhile, crossed in a time of 1:53.15 behind Walid Ktila (TUN, first, 1:51.25) and Mohammed Hammadi (IRQ, second, 1:51.91) to place third in the T34 wheelchair 800m for athletes with cerebral palsy. McCracken’s performance adds a third medal from three events to his 2013 IPC Athetics World Championships resume, with competition in the 400m to come before competition concludes this weekend.
In other results, Ian Speed (Vic), who competes with guide runner Dennis Fitzgerald, finished 5th in a time of 4:17.92 in the final of the T12 visually impaired 1500m, Madison de Rozario (WA) clocked 3:35.60 to finish 7th in a very tactical women’s T54 wheelchair 1500m final and Chad Perris (WA) ran a personal best of 11.17 in the men’s T13 visually impaired 100m final to finish 5th.
Perris, who has albinism, couldn’t be happier with his performance. Competing at his first major international championships only twelve months after beginning to train seriously for sprint events, he now has confidence in his ability to continue in the sport through to the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.
“I’m so happy with that, a PB to finish off my first Australian campaign. I didn’t think I would get the chance to represent Australia at anything so it is a dream to be here and hopefully that continues. The end goal for me is Rio, but there are stepping stones to get there like the next IPC Worlds, and now that is all part of the plan,” Perris said.
In results from the morning session on Day 6 of the IPC Athletics World Championships:
- Brad Scott (WA), who won a silver medal in the T37 cerebral palsy 800m, cruised up the straight to win his semi-final of the 400m in a time of 56.62, more than two seconds clear of Sofiane Hamdi (ALG, second, 58.91). He will compete in the final tomorrow.
- One of the favourites for the title, Scott Reardon (NSW) exerted little effort in winning his semi-final of the men’s T42 leg amputee 100m. He crossed in a time of 12.46, more than 0.4 outside his personal best of 12.14.
- Sam Carter (Qld) and Matt Cameron (Qld) advanced to the round of eight in the men’s T54 wheelchair 800m, finishing 3rd (semi-final one) and 2nd (semi-final two) in times of 14.39 and 14.59 respectively.

For more information on the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships, including athlete profiles and links to liveresults, please follow this link to the sub-site for the event at
ParalympicSport.TV is live streaming the Championships online. Please click here to watch.

By Athletics Australia

Topic: Sports

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Tim Mannion
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