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Even though a medal was just out of his reach, Nicholas Percy believes he achieved discus redemption at the Commonwealth Games after finishing fifth in Birmingham.
The 27-year-old from Glasgow started the final in confident fashion with throws of 61.98m and 63.53m to put himself right in the hunt for the medals at Alexander Stadium.
But he ultimately missed out on the podium as Australia’s Matthew Denny took gold with 67.26 ahead of England’s Lawrence Okoye and Traves Smikle of Jamaica.
Yet having finished in 13th place eight years ago in Glasgow, Percy was keen to focus on the positives after threatening to upset the odds in what was a high-quality competition.
“I thought I’d started off really well, I thought everything was lining up but the world of discus at the moment, even in Europe and the Commonwealth, has never been higher.
“63m in the last few champs would have got silver so it’s frustrating but I’m still very proud. I haven’t had any training, even from qualifying I’ve just slept and tried to recover.
“Today was the first day I woke up and felt normal so to throw what was further than my national record last year in the final and one of my first this year, I can’t be upset.
“I’m still disappointed at this moment because I’m 1.5m off a medal, it’s so close, but the standard is just ridiculous and all these guys have to be at their best to do it.
“It’s not a case of showing up and the best guys win, it could have gone any way and unfortunately my best was not the best but it’s a redemption from 13th eight years ago.”
Meanwhile it was third time’s a charm for Scotland’s Samantha Kinghorn as the wheelchair racer clinched bronze in the women’s T53/54 1500m at Alexander Stadium.
Her success was even more impressive as it was not in her usual sprint events, with the 26-year-old crossing the finish line in 3:53.38 to claim the final podium spot.
And after representing Scotland at both Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018, the two-time world champion was delighted to finally add a Commonwealth medal to her collection.
“I’m absolutely over the moon,” she said. “I came fifth in Glasgow as an 18-year-old, I came fourth in 2018 on the Gold Coast and now it’s third, I’m gaining experience year on year.
“Although 1500m isn’t an event I do in any other event, Paralympics, in world champs, I’m a 100m specialist girl, so it was a big step up and it was tough but I just wanted to race to the line.
“I literally said to my dad, mistakes were made, there were definitely things that I can improve on, but my dad was like, ‘you race to the line’, and I want to be known for that.
“I don’t ever want to be known for playing around or holding up, I’m going to race for the line and make sure that if I’m knackered at the end then I know I’ve done it right.”
The Commonwealth Games is the only major international multi-sport event that integrates para sport and non-para events, with Birmingham having the highest representation yet.
It’s a move that Kinghorn welcomes and while she acknowledged that it would not be possible for the Paralympics and Olympics, she believes other major events could follow suit.
“It’s incredible to have the integration. They are never going to be able to put us integrated for Olympic and Paralympic and I don’t think they should,” said Kinghorn.
“We deserve our own stage and hopefully we’ll get a lot more sponsorship and people will watch things like this and it will make them watch the Paralympics and back us more.
“There’s no reason why the Commonwealth Games can’t be integrated at all so there’s probably no reason the World Championships can’t be integrated when it’s just one sport.”
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