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Sunday 17 April 2022

Invictus Games Highlights - 17th April 2022

Posted by: Help For Heroes | Categories: Invictus Games

Athletics

It was an excellent first day of Athletics out on the Track and Field. Highlights of the day for Team UK’s athletes included 22 personal bests achieved over the whole team, with Former Army Captain Paul Inman achieving two PBS as part of his Dicus heats, throwing 29.7m and his biggest throw to date of 30.4m.

Whilst on the track, Army Veteran and Amputee Lisa Johnston competed in her 200m and 400m heats. Sadly, she didn't get through these, but in true Invictus spirit, her fellow athletes from across the nations supported her to the finish line.

She then took to the field when after a mix up with registration, saw her throw the shot putt standing up for the first time. Little did she know that she’d won gold until she was handed the gold ticket for her medal collection. “ Today has been totally epic. I bent, I lobbed and I won!”

Her family ran over the track to celebrate with her and then the Duke and Duchess of Sussex also joined her in her victorious moment, before Prince Harry Presented her with her Gold Medal. 

“There are no words to describe how awesome today as been. It’s been surreal and to have my family see me run for the first time as an amputee has been really special. I’m a hugger and I got to hug Harry and Megan, it was just amazing. It just proves you don’t know what you’re capable of until you just do it.”

Later in the afternoon RAF Veteran Sally Renard took another Gold for Team UK  in the 1500m in front of her husband Lee and daughters Daisy and Maya. She said:

“Today I’ve raced my heart out for my family so that they can be proud of who I am. I’ve proved that even at 46, dreams can be achieved again.

Lisa Johnston finishing her race

Lisa Johnston finishing her race

RAF Veteran Lucy Holt was also forced to change discipline from shot putt to discus as there were no other competitors in her category. Unbelievably she went on to win Gold with no training. Lucy said:

“Not knowing if I was going to compete until one hour before my event was hard. With no training, it just goes to show that if you believe in yourself and your abilities, you can do anything you set your heart on”.

Team UK Captain, Rachel Williamson, summed up the day “It’s been inspirational, special and inspiring just to see the team smash their PBs, and have fun with smiles on their faces in this amazing atmosphere with the other nations.

It feels like we have finally got to where we should have been in 2020 after 2 delayed games. It’s amazing after such a long pandemic. We have the union jack on our chest and we are proud to represent our country once more. It makes this moment even more special”

Other highlights included fellow Army Veterans Daniel Phllips winning Silver and Mark Clougherty picking up bronze  in the Wheelchair final bringing in more bling for Team UK!

 

Mark Clougherty and Dan Phillips

Mark Clougherty and Dan Phillips

Archery

The archery qualifications kicked off today with the heats for both Recurve and Compound, after an intense day for the archery team the day wrapped up seeing UK’s Sherry McBain and Stewart Padley both making it through to the finals on Monday in their respective Men’s and Women’s Recurve Matches.

When it came to teams, a sterling performance by both the Team UK Mixed Team Open (made up of Chaze Melluish, Daniel O’Connor and Anthony Booth) and Novice (made up of Sherry McBain, Stuart Padley and Gwynne Walker) matches saw the 2 teams sail through to the Bronze medal final. 

Spencer Bull, member of the UK archery team said about the Games so far: “Extraordinary achievements have been made by all. The Dutch are laying on the most amazing Games at the Hague. Even the weather has been incredible to really make this something special. Everyone is loving it and people are achieving the most extraordinary goals, which is fantastic. There isn’t a single person without a massive smile on their face”

Daniel O'Connor hitting personal goals at the archery

Daniel O'Connor hitting personal goals at the archery

Sitting Volleyball 

Despite excellent wins against Unconquered 2 and Romania, Team UK’s sitting volleyball team just missed out on a place in the Semi-Finals after spirited defeats against Georgia and USA.

The day started off well for Team UK with a promising victory over Unconquered 2, and then a dominant display against Romania. A tight loss against Georgia in their third match meant that Team UK had to beat USA to progress to the medal matches. Unfortunately, USA proved too strong on the day, despite the brilliant performances of captain Vicki Ross and her teammates. 

Team UK was well supported in all four pool matches, creating an exciting atmosphere in the Invictus Games stadium that brought the best out in the team. 

Team UK sitting volleyball player, Dave Wilkinson, said “I’m so proud of the team for giving it absolutely everything, and incredibly thankful and grateful to our coach, Rich, for getting us to where we are today”

Team UK sitting volleyball coach Rich Osborne said “Winning isn’t always about coming first. My team performed beyond all expectations. To have taken eleven novice sitting volleyball players and mould them into a competitive team is truly unbelievable and I am hugely proud to have had the honour of being their coach”

Sitting Volley Ball

Sitting Volley Ball

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