So close: Mel reflects on two fourth places at World Para Champs

Thursday 23rd May 2024

British Athletics website report (Thursday)

Scottish athlete Mel Woods was so close to the podium at the World Para Champs – with two fourth place finishes in Japan.

Mel was seventh in her first event, the T54 800m in conditions so wet they seriously affected the race in Kobe.

But the wheelchair racer was very close to the medals in both the 1500m and then the 400m final.

The Scot, coached by Rodger Harkins, was always in the hunt for medals in the 400m final as the athletes entered the home straight but despite her best efforts, she narrowly crossed the line just outside the medals.

A superb clocking of 54.77 had seen Mel win her heat earlier.

Two days prior to that, she was also narrowly fourth in the women’s T54 1500m.

The Scottish athlete was aggressive from the early stages, sitting in behind long-time race leader Tian Yajuan (China) and making her presence felt as the whole field stayed bunched for most of the race.

With Woods slightly boxed in lane one behind Yajuan, all she could do with 200m to go was attach herself to her wheel and follow, but a fast-finishing Zhou Zhaoqian (China) overtook her compatriot for the gold, and Germany’s Merle Marie Menje just held off the valiant fight of the Briton to sneak the bronze by just 0.15s, Woods clocking 3:34.34.

After the 1500m final, Mel said: ‘My plan was to go out, stick with the pace, and be patient, so I feel like I did that so I have to be proud of that.

‘There are some really strong girls in that race, and I was just trying to hold on and see what I could do in the end. I did what I could, so I am happy with that.

‘At 200m, there was not really anywhere to go, so I just had to give it what I could. I could see the others coming around the outside and there isn’t much you could do than stay as close as you can.’



Tags: Japan, Mel Woods, World Para Champs

Expand Social Feeds