All photos: imagecomms for ParalympicsGB
The final days of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics saw Derek Rae racing in the T46 marathon, and Ben Rowlings in the T34 800m final.
Derek finished 9th in the marathon, in 2:47.04 – great to see, particularly after a period of injury earlier in the summer.
He said after the race: ‘I’m proud of myself and I’m proud of my support team because it was a challenge to get to that start line.
‘At the beginning of June I had a setback when I had a stress reaction in my sacrum so I had to have a significant amount of time off my feet. There were some doubts in my mind about taking to the start line, but I got there fit and healthy so it was worth all the hard work and I am grateful for the support team behind me who got me here.
‘I ran pretty much the whole race on my own but the crowds pulled me through it, they were a great support. It’s been like that ever since we landed in Japan. We’ve been greeted by a warm welcome wherever we have been during these Games.
‘After Rio (DNF), I’ve remained focused and grounded; this was always the target. The setback in June is the way of the world, and it was unfortunate. The lows make the highs, higher.’
Congratulations to Derek, coach Ron Morrison, and all those at Fife AC and beyond who have supported him.
Ben – (pictured with the blue chair) was in the T34 800m final and had a 1:48.63 push for 8th place. That came after his 100m final on Monday – superb to see him in two finals on his Paralympic debut, and we look forward to seeing more from him, particularly with a busy summer of competition expected in 2022.
It’s been a fantastic Games for the Scots, with a raft of medals coming home, and also a stack of other strong performances showing real depth across the nine athletes.
For the record, that final medal tally was as follows:
Chief Executive of scottishathletics, Colin Hutchison, said: “It has been a pleasure following the progress of our Paralympians over the nine days of athletics competition and all at scottishathletics are extremely proud of the performances of the athletes. The medal moments and smiles on the podium were of course the highlights, however, seeing the progression and achievements from all athletes was pleasing. The last 18 months has presented significant challenges for the athletes in preparing for these games so all credit to them for performing so well on the biggest stage.
“With the Commonwealth Games in 2022, World Para Athletics Championships in 2023 and Paris Paralympics in 2024 there is a lot for Scottish athletes to look forward to and we are excited about following their progression towards these Championships.
“A huge congratulations and thank you must also go to the coaches, clubs, support teams and staff that work with the athletes throughout the year and continue to develop para athletics across Scotland.”
National Disability Pathway Officer for scottishathletics Pamela Robson added: “I’d like to echo Colin’s congratulations, and particularly the recognition we must give to the support of the coach, club and wider team in bringing these athletes to compete at World level.
“Having Scottish athletes at the Paralympics will be instrumental in inspiring new and existing athletes and raising the profile of para athletics in our country. The impact of their success at the Games will be immeasurable. We’re extremely proud of every one of our athletes.”