Wheelchair racer Mickey Bushell sprinted to victory tonight (Monday) to maintain Britain’s record of winning at least one gold medal on each day of Athletics action at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Roared on by a capacity crowd at the Olympic Stadium, Bushell did it in style – racing away from the field to capture the T53 100m title in a Paralympic record of 14.75 seconds.
Bushell was silver medallist in the same event in Beijing four years ago and again at the 2011 World Championships in New Zealand.
But his time for gold arrived on home soil in London’s Olympic Stadium. He was fast away at the start and left a quality field for dead – they never looked like closing the gap.
China’s Zhao Yufei, who set a personal best to take silver, was more than a third of a second behind.
Bushell, 22, from Telford in Shropshire, said he was determined to come away from the London 2012 Games with the 100m gold.
“The 100m is my main event, my strongest event and the one I wanted to win most,” he said. “Gold was the only thing I wanted, it’s been a long, hard four years to get here. It’s a huge relief.
“It was all about the winning tonight. Training has been going really well the past couple of weeks so I knew I was a big contender for the gold. The conditions on the day were perfect.
“I think I got out second but after the first push I started to pull away and I was confident I could win.”
He drew inspiration from friend and teammate David Weir’s dramatic T54 5000m victory last night.
“I watched Dave last night and I was bouncing off the walls,” he said. “Dave has been massive for me as a teammate; he’s a fantastic guy and a great role model.”
Bushell’s campaign at London 2012 hasn’t finished– he’s back in action in the T53 200m on Friday 7 September.
His medal takes Britain’s Athletics gold medal tally to five.
Earlier in the session, 49 year old Stephen Osborne, who was only introduced to Athletics by a friend last year, came home in fifth place in the T51 100m final in 23.40.
He said he hopes to compete at Rio in four years’ time.
“I enjoyed it, I really did. I want some more. I want to keep going through to Rio,” said Osborne. “I’ve only been doing this a year and I think that this has come a bit early, but I enjoyed it.”
In the last race of the day to feature a Briton, the T37 1500m, Dean Miller was run out of the medal places in the final 400m.
With Ireland’s Michael McKillop well clear and en route to gold in a Paralympic record time going into the last lap, 23 year old Miller from Barrow-in-Furness, was in fourth place and in the chasing pack.
But as the pace quickened, Miller was unable to keep up with the race for the medals and crossed the line seventh in four minutes 21.57 seconds.
Get more Paralympics news from www.paralympics.org.uk/gb.