Ill­ness cuts down Clegg’s gold rush

Macclesfield Express - - MOTORS - CHRIS BAI­LEY

LIBBY Clegg be­came the lat­est Com­mon­wealth cham­pion to have their par­tic­i­pa­tion at the IPC Ath­let­ics Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships placed un­der a fit­ness cloud in Swansea.

Clegg was adored by the crowd at Ham­p­den Park as she pow­ered her way to gold for the host na­tion at the Com­mon­wealth Games in the T12 100m be­fore turn­ing her at­ten­tions to the Euro­peans.

How­ever a dou­ble gold medal­list in the 100m and 200m at the last Euro­peans in the Nether­lands in 2012, the Bolling­ton-born sprint star was un­able to de­fend her crown in the for­mer, pulling out of the fi­nal with a vi­ral in­fec­tion.

Clegg, who won a sec­ond Par­a­lympic sil­ver at Lon­don 2012, ar­rived in Swansea with­out full fit­ness af­ter be­ing struck down by ill­ness – and was ev­i­dently not at her best in the heats

The 24-year-old scorched to Com­mon­wealth gold in a world lead­ing time of 12.20 seconds but qual­i­fied for the fi­nal at the Euro­peans in Swansea as a fastest loser, clock­ing 12.49.

“I’ve not been feel­ing well in the past cou­ple of days but it’s just one of those things, I gave it my best per­for­mance and that’s all I can ask for,” said Clegg af­ter the heats.

“I just want to go out there and put as good a time down as pos­si­ble. Af­ter not feel­ing well I didn’t know what to ex­pect any­way.”

And al­though her be­low-par semi-fi­nal run earned her a place in the fi­nal she was forced to with­draw from the com­pe­ti­tion.

It was an­other un­for­tu­nate note for what had oth­er­wise been a stun­ning start for the Bri­tish team in Swansea af­ter six-time Par­a­lympic cham­pion David Weir’s late with­drawal.

Weir pulled out on the eve of the Cham­pi­onships through in­jury him­self – al­though that did hand Clegg’s guide runner Mikail Hug­gins the op­por­tu­nity to cap­tain the Bri­tish team.

SAINS­BURY’S is proud to sup­port Bri­tish Ath­let­ics through the Sum­mer Se­ries events and is com­mit­ted to help­ing young peo­ple lead health­ier, more ac­tive life­styles.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.sains­burys. co.uk/legacy

John Giles / PA Wire

●● Libby Clegg and her guide Mikail Hug­gins cel­e­brate with their Com­mon­wealth gold medals fol­low­ing vic­tory in the 100m T12 Fi­nal at Ham­p­den Park

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