Paralympian Clegg at peace with calling time on athletics career
Libby Clegg admits she is ready to move on with her life as she prepares for her final athletics race in Tokyo tonight.
The Scottish sprinter revealed she is retiring from athletics on the eve of the Games and could leave without a medal after crashing out of the T11 200m in the first round.
Clegg, who runs with guide Chris Clarke, finished third of four athletes in fourth heat in the pouring Tokyo rain to set the 11th fastest time overall, with the top eight progressing through.
The 31-year-old was a late call-up to the British squad and said her fourth Paralympics was only ever a bonus.
“I am super happy with my run today, six weeks ago Chris and I weren’t going to be here so I am just happy to be honest to finish my athletics career in the Olympic Stadium,” she said.
“I have the relay tomorrow to finish and I am really looking forward to it. There are so many young athletes coming through and I am ready now, ready for the end in a nice way. I am happy.
“I did not get selected so I am here on default because someone else pulled out, so we’re lucky to be here and it has been such an honour to be on a successful team.
“This is a year too late, this Games. I would have preferred it last year, I was ready last year to run and then retire. And I was in phenomenal shape last year.
“It has been a very tough 18 months, not just for me but for lots of other athletes and it has been difficult mentally to stay motivated. I love an international race and they were all cancelled, so to pick yourself back up after that is hard.
“It is what it is, we’re here now and the girls in my field have really pushed on and I am glad I have just been part of it all these years.”
There was a second athletics medal for Melrose’s Sammi Kinghorne, who backed up Thursday’s T53 100m bronze with a silver at 400m.
There’s just one colour missing from the 25-year-old’s collection and she believes she can claim it at the next Games in Paris.
“I believe I can be Paralympic champion one day and I think it is just learning, it is getting into that mental state and getting prepared,” she said.
"To finish my career in the Paralympic stadium in Tokyo is amazing. I wasn’t even sure I was going to be here so I’m happy"@LibbyClegg, two-time Paralympic champion 🔥#ImpossibleToIgnore
“My family have had a massive party all week, my dad put a marquee outside the house and I have nine or ten friends staying there. I am hoping they are going to organise a big better for when I get home.
“Cake and fizz is what I’m going for.”
Finlay Graham has no problems with torrential rain in the men's road race, claiming it just reminded him of home in Strathpeffer.
Graham was devastated after just missing out on time trial bronze at Fuji Raceway but 48 hours later added to his individual pursuit silver with a medal of the same colour
Team-mate Ben Watson took the gold as rain of biblical proportions saw thrills and spills at the former F1 venue, with team-mate Jaco van Gass just missing out on a medal.
Graham, 21, even suffered a mechanical issue in the race but recovered to finish 80 seconds and over five minutes ahead of bronze.
"That was so wet, we woke up and saw it chucking it down and it was just like being at home," said Graham.
"The conditions were so slippery and it wasn't worth pushing hard because you could have crashed on any corner.
"With three of us in the race we knew we could control it and the goal was just for one of us to get the win, there was no specific person we had in mind.
"Ben got away and we let the gap grow and then I just gave it a bit of a go at the end, he was far too strong to catch. We're gutted to miss the 1-2-3 but gold and silver is pretty nice.”
Swimmer Toni Shaw rounded off her Tokyo campaign with fourth place in the 100m butterfly S9.
The Aberdeen ace finished fourth for the second time at the Games, touching the wall in a time of 1:08.87 and missing a medal by 0.44 seconds.
"I was really happy with my time, I haven't done too much butterfly training and I surprised myself," she said.
"I'm really disappointed to finish fourth, nobody likes to come fourth but I'm pleased with how I swum."
Glasgow's Louis Lawlor finished eighth in the 100m backstroke S14, also concluding his Paralympic debut.
Meanwhile, Glasgow’s Gordon Reid and wheelchair tennis doubles partner Alfie Hewett will hope to get revenge in the today’s gold medal match.
The pair face France’s Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer, who beat them to the title in Rio five years ago.
Reid bowed out of the singles semi-finals to Japan’s Shingo Kunieda yesterday, going down 6-3 6-2.
Sainsbury’s is a proud supporter of ParalympicsGB and a champion of inclusive sport for all. Sainsbury’s commitment to helping customers to eat better has been at the heart of what we do since 1869. For more information on Sainsbury’s visit www.sainsburys.co.uk/ and https://paralympics.org.uk/
Thu, 07 Oct 2021 13:36:30 +0100 Digital drives small business recovery 74 per cent of UK small businesses have upped their social media use for promotional purposes throughout the pandemic, with 43 per cent using e-commerce more and 30 percent increasing their use of paid social media adverts.original article