FARNHAM’S Rachel Morris capped a golden weekend for the area’s Paralympians on Sunday as she stormed to victory in the arms-shoulders single sculls.
Rachel, who only took up rowing in 2013, set a new Paralympic best time of 5.13.69 over the 1,000m race to finish a boat length ahead of China’s Lili Wang in the silver medal position and Israel’s Moran Samuel in bronze.
Her latest gold takes her total Paralympic medal tally to three, adding to the hand-cycling gold she won at Beijing in 2008 and bronze at London 2012.
"That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Rachel said after her race. "It just goes to show if you have stuff drilled into you every day by the coaches and you do it you can win."
Binsted’s Georgie Hermitage also won gold in the T37 100m final on Friday night, beating her own world record in the process.
Georgie is also set to compete in the T37 400m, beginning with the heats on Monday (September 12) from 2.24pm UK time and hopefully the final at 2.14pm UK time the following day, as well as the T35-38 4x100m relay final at 11.31pm UK time on Thursday (September 15).
"Have no words to describe how I feel right now,” she wrote on Twitter following the podium-topping performance. “Thank you everyone for all your kind tweets. Now to focus onto the next race."
Georgie will be joined in Thursday’s relay by London 2012 bronze medalist Olivia Breen from Liphook, who finished an impressive seventh place in the T38 100m final on Friday followed by 12th in the T38 long jump on Sunday.
Kylie Grimes from Farnham also competed in the Olympic Stadium on Sunday in the F51 women’s club throw, finishing just outside the medal places in fourth place having represented GB at London 2012 in the wheelchair rugby.
Fellow club-thrower Abbie Hunnisett, a former student of Treloars disabled school and college in Alton, competed in the F31/32 category on Friday afternoon, but finished agonisingly outside of the medals in fourth place behind GB teammate Gemma Prescott.
A further two Treloars alumni, David Smith and Patrick Wilson, are also competing at the Rio Games in boccia.
David opened his campaign in the BC1-2 mixed team event on Saturday (September 10) losing in the quarter finals to Thailand, and will next compete in the individual BC1 event at 5.30pm tomorrow.
Patrick first appeared in the BC3 mixed pairs on Saturday but was knocked out in the pool stages, and will return for the individual event at 3.15pm tomorrow
See this week’s Herald, on sale Thursday, for interviews and further updates on the area’s Paralympians.