Most of the seats on the plane to the Rio Paralympics have now been allocated but not all, so there was still good reason to give a performance at the Anniversary Games in front of the ever-enthusiastic crowd at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Saturday (23 July 2016).

By Tom Jamison

The day started well for the British as Richard Whitehead left ‘nothing out the there’ hammering home a new world record for the T42 200 metres in the first parasport race of the day.

With just weeks until the start of the Paralympic Games it’s difficult to accurately gauge where exactly British athletes are. The period of run-up towards the Games is a delicate time in that athletes are surrounded by contradictory aims, balancing the need to train well to keep them on top form but also guarding against pushing too hard and risking injury or fatigue. Competition is also important and gives clues as to where other athletes are at, although it did seem as though there were a few cagey performances.

One of the day’s disappointments was Jonnie Peacock’s anticipated T44 100 metres race where, without recently retired Richard Browne, he might have been expected to cruise home. Peacock has recently changed his technique and it did seem as though his movements were slightly less fluid on the track than we are used to. So it was that another US star, Jarryd Wallace won by a stride.

There was also mixed fortune in the T54 1500m event where London favourite, David Weir finished third to his long-time rival, Marcel Hug but with the consolation of second place being snatched by Brit, Richard Chiassaro, who along with the other leaders managed to avoid a crash on the penultimate lap.

My performance of the day was Libby Clegg’s world record in the T11 200m. The Scot had recently been reclassified and was required to wear a blindfold after eye tests revealed that her sight had deteriorated. Even so she stormed off the bend to finish first and will surely be hoping to fill the gap in her medal collection with Paralympic gold in a few weeks’ time.