Hermitage and Breen top of the world for Britain
LOCAL duo Georgie Hermitage and Olivia Breen joined forces to help Great Britain win relay gold at the close of the IPC World Championships in Doha last weekend.
The T35-38 4x100m relay team of Breen, Maria Lyle, Hermitage and Sophie Hahn set a superb new world record of 52.22secs to beat Russia (53.18sces) into second place.
Former Bohunt (Liphook) schoolgirl Breen made an impressive start and handed over to Lyle who closed the gap on the back straight.
Binsted’s Hermitage, already the T37 400m champion, showed her strength over the penultimate leg, overtaking the Australian and Russian teams before giving Hahn, who had obliterated the field in the T38 100m earlier in the championships, the task of anchoring the team to the gold medals.
Guildford & Godalming AC member Hermitage, who comes away from Doha with two golds and a silver (T37 100m), said: “It’s difficult on the bend to know how the race is going out, but I just wanted to get round it and make sure I got the baton to Sophie who is our pocket-rocket.
“Being here with the girls is by far the best medal of the championships and gives us a real positive outlook knowing we are going to Rio as world record holders and we just want to push it even further.”
Britain won three gold medals on the final day of the championships. Altogether, the 48-strong team claimed 13 golds out of 32 medals as the build-up continues to next year’s Rio Paralympics.
It surpassed the 10-12 golds and 26-30 medal target that had been set for the squad in the extreme heat of Qatar.
“We are a high-achieving sport and we do expect success,” said British Paralympics head coach Paula Dunn. “We’ve come away with five world records and 24 personal bests in an event which is being held extremely late in the season.
“Only two or three athletes have not made finals, so I think the performances on the track show we have been doing something right.”
Olivia Breen, who runs for City of Portsmouth AC, narrowly missed out on a medal in her T38 100m final, coming fourth in 13.46secs.
The 19-year-old was delighted with sixth place in the long jump with a distance of 4.27m and recorded another personal best by finishing fourth in her 200m final in 28.06.
Georgie Hermitage’s 400m victory was shown live on Channel 4 which also featured Georgie and her two-year-old daughter, Tilly, at Mint Condition, the personal training health club near Alton, where the athlete received treatment for a stress fracture to her foot.
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