Huge weekend breakthroughs for Para athletes Hamilton and Agnew
10 May 2016
Hamilton looks likely for Euros and possibly even Rio
It may have been a surprise to many but the Men's B 1500m produced one of the highlights of the Belfast International / IMC meeting at the Mary Peters Track on Saturday. T20 athlete James Hamilton (Ballymena Runners / Mark Kirk) broke clear of the pack at half way and had a blistering last lap to take almost 8 seconds off his PB from 2015 and to dip below the 4 minute barrier for the first time with 3.59.71
This time puts him well inside the 4.04 required to qualify for the European Championships held in Grosseto, Italy next month and also puts him in the frame for the Rio Paralympics as he now has the MQS (Minimum Qualifying Standard) which means he is now eligible for selection. The time has rocketed James from 5th to 1st in the IPC T20 world rankings.
Agnew continues to climb world senior rankings
T54 athlete Jack Agnew (Torque Racing Club / Heather Ardis) continued his faultless 2016 season with PBs and podiums at the British Wheelchair Racing Association Championships at Stoke-Mandeville at the weekend. The a Youth Academy athlete set a new PB in the heats of the 100m (15.77) before finishing 5th in the final. For good measure Jack also finished third in his first ever 5000m on the track showing that he can tackle all distances.
However it was the 1500m where Jack truly came into his own taking 20 seconds off his already impressive PB and finishing within 2 seconds of multiple Paralympic Gold medalist David Weir in 3rd place with 3.11.68. This time now puts Jack into the top 20 in this years world rankings in the most competitive para class of all, this is all the more impressive given that Jack is still only 16 years of age.