Bristol thrower Josie gets her gold at last
Discus thrower Josie Pearson continued Great Britain’s golden run of success in the Olympic Stadium yesterday by being crowned Paralympic champion.
Bristol-born Pearson, who broke her neck in car accident aged 17, set three new world records to take Britain’s gold medal haul at the showpiece London venue into double figures.
The 26-year-old, who lives in Hay-on-Wye, had to give up wheelchair racing after being told the risk of further injury was too great and only took up throwing 18 months ago.
But she launched the disc out to 6.38, 6.54 and then 6.58 metres with her first three throws of the competition, extending the F51 record on each occasion.
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With the competition also including F52 and 53 athletes, the distances were converted into points, with Pearson’s 1122 putting her 242 clear of the rest of the field.
Ireland’s Catherine O’Neillwas second, with distances converted on the basis of the athletes’ disability category.
Jonnie Peacock, David Weir and Hannah Cockroft ensured Thursday night lived up to its billing as ‘Thriller Thursday’, and Pearson’s success kept the British gold medal bandwagon moving apace.
“I can’t quite put into words how I’m feeling at the moment. I am absolutely ecstatic,” she said. “In training I was consistently throwing over the world record, so I knew it was a definite possibility that I could do it. To get that first throw and break the world record was such a relief.”