27.May.12 First Playground to Podium athlete makes GB debut
At the BT Paralympic World Cup Sophie Kamlish made her GB debut and the first athlete identified through ‘Playground to Podium’ to earn international honours.
Barely a year after training started with Rob Ellchuk at Team Bath, the World Cup was only her third outdoor competition using her Ossur Cheetah blade funded by READY. One of those events was the Sainsbury’s School Games at the Olympic Stadium earlier in the month, where Kamlish represented Team South West in the Long Jump. After a shaky start, and two no jumps, Sophie improved with every round before finishing with 3m97 and a Paralympic A-Standard.
The starting blocks were out in a sunny Manchester for two sprint races against a full house of World Record Holders in April Holmes (T44), Marlou van Rhijn (T43) and Martini Caironi (T42) the latter two making their marks in the record books at the World Cup. Other contenders included Beijing bronze medallist Stef Reid – one of the British faces of 2012.
Unfazed by her rivals, the 15-year-old smashed her personal best times in both distances. Running from the inside lane Kamlish got a great start in the 100m, losing out on a medal by just three hundredths of a second to Reid. Her time for fourth place 14.10s was almost a half second improvement and inside World Top 10 rankings for the T43/44 group.
The notorious Sportcity wind had swung round to a headwind for the 200m. Starting conservatively Kamlish tracked Iris Pruysen (Holland), before kicking hard in the home straight for bronze medal and a two second personal best of 31.20s.
On a great GB team performance, UKA Head Coach Peter Eriksson said: “It’s been an amazing day with a lot of surprises and a World Record in the first event of the day which was the best possible start.” He continue
d. “Our youngsters really delivered - athletes like Sophie Kamlish and Will Smith who were phenomenal on their debuts, Jonnie Peacock with his PB into a big headwind and it was great to see Nathan Stephens back after his shoulder operation last year. The list goes on and on.”
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