Dan Pembroke targets world record after clinching Paralympic gold in Games debut

·4-min read

British javelin star Dan Pembroke was left stunned after grabbing gold in Tokyo with a mammoth Paralympic record on his Games debut.

The Herefordshire-based 30-year-old, who has a degenerative sight condition and previously competed in able-bodied events, claimed victory in the F13 class with a gigantic throw of 69.52 metres.

He is already targeting the world record of 71.01m, having previously managed a personal best of 75.89m before switching to Para sport.

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“I was expecting to throw big but the Paralympic record is amazing – I can’t believe it,” said Pembroke, who beat Iranian silver medallist Ali Pirouj by more than five metres.

“My voice has gone now, I’m a bit of a vocal thrower. I just give it my all.

“I’ve worked really hard in a short period of time to get where I am at the moment so, in the future, my sights are on the world record so hopefully I will get that soon.”

Earlier at the Olympic Stadium, Scottish wheelchair racer Sami Kinghorn won her second medal in 24 hours by claiming silver in the women’s T53 400m final.

Great Britain’s Samantha Kinghorn claimed two Paralympic medals in less than 24 hours
Great Britain’s Samantha Kinghorn claimed two Paralympic medals in less than 24 hours (John Walton/PA)

The 25-year-old, who picked up 100m bronze on Wednesday evening, crossed the line in 57.25 seconds.

She held off a late challenge from Chinese bronze medallist Zhou Hongzhuan, with Swiss athlete Catherine Debrunner a clear winner in 56.18s.

Three-time world champion Dan Greaves became the first Briton to win athletics medals at six different Games courtesy of F44 discus bronze.

Having stood on the podium in Sydney, Athens, Beijing, London and Rio, 38-year-old Greaves surpassed the feat of Tanni Grey-Thompson with a throw of 53.56m, finishing behind American gold medallist Jeremy Campbell and Croatian Ivan Katanusic.

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“I was a bit annoyed I didn’t throw any further than 55m but I battled to the bitter end,” said Greaves.

“I am really pleased to have some hardware to show my children – my sixth consecutive medal. I feel so old saying that!”

Dreams of a second successive all-British Paralympic men’s wheelchair tennis final were extinguished as Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett suffered last-four defeats.

Defending champion Reid lost 6-3 6-2 to world number one and home favourite Shingo Kunieda, before Rio silver medallist Hewett was beaten 6-4 7-6 (5) by Holland’s Tom Egberink.

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The British pair will battle each other for bronze on Saturday at Ariake Tennis Centre.

Before then they are scheduled to unite for Friday’s doubles final, seeking to upgrade the silver they won together in Brazil five years ago with a rematch against French reigning champions Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer.

“There’s not tension at all – this is not new territory for us,” Hewett said of Reid being both a teammate and a rival.

“To be honest, we enjoy it, it produces some great tennis when we play against each other because we do probably understand each other’s game more than anyone else on the tour.

“He knows where I’m going, I know where he’s going. It’s almost a game of bluff in the end.”

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Fellow GB player Jordanne Whiley will also seek to salvage singles bronze following a 6-4 6-2 last-four defeat to Dutch top seed Diede De Groot in the women’s draw.

The 29-year-old will take on another player from Holland, Aniek Van Koot, on Saturday with the final podium place at stake.

Whiley later made up for that disappointment by progressing to the doubles final with partner Lucy Shuker.

The bronze medal pairing from Brazil beat Chinese duo Wang Ziying and Zhu Zhenzhen 6-4 6-2 and will take on top seeds De Groot and Van Koot for gold.

Great Britain’s women finished seventh in wheelchair basketball after beating Spain 62-43 at Ariake Arena.

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