Scotland’s Para cohort rose quite spectacularly to the challenge of representing GB and NI and the competition at the WPA Europeans in Poland.
Four gold medals were claimed as well as a World Record, two Championship Records plus two further bronze medals.
Maria Lyle won a 200m and 100m T35 sprints with Championship Record performances in both of those finals; Kayleigh Haggo claimed the RR3 100m crown to add to her World title from 2019 and improved the global best to 18.11; and Libby Clegg rounded it all off with a victory in the T12 200m alongside guide runner Chris Clarke.
Stef Reid and Alexander Thomson were the other Scottish medallists (see our daily reviews below).
‘I am really happy to win another gold,’ said Maria, who won the 100m in 14.39 late on Saturday afternoon.
‘My start was good, maybe just tightened up a wee bit, but overall, I’m happy with my race and it’s nice to have that opportunity to put your training into practice.
‘I am happy with where I am [in 2021] my coach and I decided to come here in preparation for Tokyo, hopefully, in a couple of months, just to get that feel of big champs, going through a call room and all the normal procedures so I’m really lucky to be selected and be part of a great team.’
Congratulations to Maria, her family and coach Jamie Bowie on a great double victory in Poland.
— C4 Paralympics (@C4Paralympics) June 5, 2021
Clegg and Clarke won in 27.41 in the T12 200m final.
‘This has been a long journey for us to get to this point,’ said Libby.
‘It hasn’t been the easiest five years so to win a gold medal at a European Championships is amazing. Any sort of international medal you have to be happy with. I’m so pleased I get to take a medal home for Edward (her son).
‘I’ve really lacked confidence over the last few years, so for me to come here, not running the quickest of times, but just making it through and winning it makes me quite happy.
‘It’s going to feel pretty good getting back on that podium. It’s been a rough time with mental health issues, Chris ruptured his Achilles, I had a baby, it’s been an interesting few years.’
Congratulations to Libby and Chris, their families and coach Joe McDonnell.
EUROPEAN CHAMPION & NEW WORLD RECORD (subject to ratification) 🇬🇧🥇
Hard work has paid off and I couldn’t be happier! Huge thanks to everyone who has supported me on this journey and to @johnvowens for your coaching. @BritAthletics @ParaAthletics https://t.co/fQ55zc6j5z
— Kayleigh Haggo (@kayleigh_haggo) June 4, 2021
Friday 4 June
Kayleigh Haggo lowered the women’s RR3 100m world record as she added the European title to the world gold she won two years ago.
The Scottish athlete bettered her European silver medal from 2018, producing a dominant display to win in a time of 18.11 (1.0m/s), nearly 1.5 seconds than her closest competitor.
Speaking after her world record and gold medal winning performance, Haggo said: ‘I’m so so happy. I’ve been working really hard so for that to pay off means so much.
‘Things have been going well in training and I’ve been setting some really quick times so far this season, so to break the world record here at these Championships, I can’t put into words how much it means to me.
‘It’s always great for us to have frame running at these Championships, so to come away with gold this time is just amazing. The girls are getting faster so the standard is getting stronger across the board which is great for the event.’
Congratulations to Kayleigh, her family and coach John Owens on a superb success.
In the field, Stef Reid added another medal to her impressive international medal haul, securing bronze in a superb women’s T64 Long Jump final.
After beginning the competition with three fouls, the 2017 world champion used all of her experience and calmness under pressure to leap into bronze medal position with a season’s best 5.26m to secure her ninth major championships medal and repeat her bronze medal performance from 2018.
Many congratulations to Stef, her family and coach Aston Moore on her bronze medal in Bydgoszcz.
On the track, Mel Woods rounded-off her busy week with another strong showing in her first senior competition. Woods finished fifth in the women’s 800m T54 final in a time of 1:57.59, her fourth event in four days.
Thursday 3 June
Three Scots were in action Bydgoszcz and there were good performances all round, even if not quite enough to edge onto podiums.
In the T54 400m Mel Woods had a strong push and really looked like she was going to reel in Helbling on the final straight for bronze, but it was not to be. She took 4th in 59.63, in a great race to watch.
In the T38 100m final, Alexander Thomson took sixth with a 12.06 run, and it was good to see Ross Paterson notch up a SB, running 12.31 for seventh place.
Achieved the bronze medal yesterday in my 400m race at the @ParaAthletics European Championships. Very happy😁thanks to @BritAthletics and my coach @ chrisballie and my training group. Thanks for all the support from my family and friends too🥉 @TeamSportsAid @BA_Paralympic pic.twitter.com/kVflOjmLcj
— Alexander Thomson (@AlexanderT1724) June 3, 2021
Wednesday 2 June
There were strong performances in Poland and a fine bronze medal for Alexander Thomson.
The VP Glasgow athlete finished third in the T38 400m final in Bydgoszcz in a new PB of 54.66 – as GB team-mate, Shaun Burrows, took second. Ross Paterson was fourth in a new PB of 55.60.
Earlier, Mel Woods followed up her 100m performance on the Tuesday night with a strong push for fifth place in the T54 1500m final – with a PB of 3:43.61.
Many congratulations to Alexander, his family and coach Chris Baillie on his medal.