Brilliant Ben wins World gold with Paris kick – as Sammi lands four medals and Maria bronze double

Monday 17th July 2023

Ben Sandilands savours gold medal moment in Paris (photo by Pamela Robson)

Ben Sandilands claimed a sensational gold on the final morning of the World Para Athletics Championships in Paris, producing a completely unstoppable kick to claim the men’s T20 1500m title on his debut on the international stage.

Sandilands handled the occasion of his very first major championship appearance for the British team with aplomb, timing his surge for gold in the men’s T20 1500m final to perfection, kicking with 200m to go to claim gold by over a second in a Championship record of 3:52.42 .

Gold for Sandilands saw him become the eighth British athlete to win a title in the French capital, his kick ranking it among the most impressive, while his Fife AC club-mate Owen Miller – the Paralympic champion from Tokyo – and Steven Bryce (VP-Glasgow) – a debutant himself too – placed seventh and 13th respectively.

Sandilands was just behind as American Paralympic champion from Rio in 2016 Michael Brannigan led after the bell. Down the backstraight it looked like Miller and Sandilands would be run out of it as Brannigan created almost a 10m-lead and Portugal’s Sandro Baessa and Ndiaga Dieng of Italy strung out behind.

But Ben produced a devastating kick to start picking off the leaders. By the final 100m he was level with Brannigan and the American had no answer as the Scot won by over a second in a brilliant Championship record of 3:52.42.

‘It does feel amazing to win a gold,’ said Ben.

‘I think I sped up with 200m to go, but I know I have that speed in me, so it definitely helped. I just feel exhausted now. I went into the race thinking I could win and I did, so it has given me a lot of confidence for the future.

‘It was hard to get a rhythm in the race, so sometimes it was OK, and sometimes it was hard. I just had to deal with it. A lot of hard work has gone into this. My coach Steve Doig has helped me to get here. It’s nice to train with Owen and Steven, we all encourage and support each other.’

Miller battled valiantly behind for seventh in 3:58.22 while Bryce was 13th in 4:03.80.

Owen said: ‘It was a bit messy at the beginning and I felt like I was just getting pushed forward a lot. I managed to keep them off as much as I could. I tried my best and that is all I could.

‘I’ve got more experience now and I will take that into the next one. It is my second World Championships and I feel like I am running better now. I am racing at the London Diamond League next week, so I am excited to be racing at that one.’

Steven added: ‘It was good, I tried my best, but I got boxed in, it happens sometimes. I have run better before but I will learn from this.’


Samantha Kinghorn took her medal tally to a remarkable four on Sunday evening in the Universal 4x100m Relay.

The Scot teamed up with Zac Shaw, Jonnie Peacock and Sophie Hahn to clock 48.07 and take silver medals (with race winners Canada DQ for a change-over failure)

So Sammi’s podium places read:

T53 8oom SILVER



Universal 4x100m Relay SILVER

Sammi said: ‘It was awesome – I was nervous going into it. As Jonnie said, we’re so used to being individual events, so being down in the call-room and having so many more people there – I really enjoyed that. It gives you that extra confidence.

‘If, when I was a little girl, someone had said to me ‘one day at a world championships you’re going to win a medal in every event’, I wouldn’t have believed it, but that’s what I’m doing now. I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity.’


Maria Lyle completed a fine sprint double on Monday evening.

After taking bronze in the T35 200m last week, the Team East Lothian athlete was third in the 100m final.

With Chinese pair Zhou Xia and Guo Qianqian flying to gold and silver respectively, Lyle’s battle for bronze was with Fatimah Suwaed of Iraq. The Brit was behind at halfway but produced a superb second 50m to pass her rival and clock 14.76 for bronze.


Tags: Ben Sandilands, Owen Miller, Samantha Kinghorn, Steven Bryce

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