At Toronto’s York Lions Stadium Invictus Games track and field athletes from the UK Team performed at their very best in sweltering heat, backed by the rousing support of friends and family cheering them on. Many of the athletes gained personal bests and finished the day pleased with their performance. The majority have another day of Athletics competition ahead with more grit and determination yet to come.
On the track 10 medals were won, with Lindsay Chapman gaining gold in the Women’s IT5 100m. Fellow wheelchair racers Jen Warren and Andrew Bracey gained six medals between them; Jen two silvers and a bronze, and Andrew three silvers. Visually impaired runner Jamie Weller claimed three bronze medals much to the delight of the crowd and supported by fellow athletes Dominic Nott and Michael Westwell who acted as his guide. Bruce Ekman ran well in his heats with finals yet to be run. He said: “I went to the Ukraine earlier this year so to now be running alongside soldiers from that amazing country is such a privilege. The Invictus Games are all about the teamwork, the camaraderie, the banter. It’s such an honour to continue serving my country like this.”In the field competition a further four medals were achieved. Lamin Manneh claimed a gold in shot, Martin Tye and Dave Watson gained bronzes in shot, and Olaf Jones won a bronze in discus.
Athletics team captain Jo Hursey, an Army Staff Sergeant who herself gained personal bests in field events, said: “I feel like a proud mum. Everyone has worked so hard over the last few months of training and it’s paid off. Our coaches have worked so hard with us, pushing us to our limits. I think everyone has either smashed their PB and/or gained a medal for their event. They should be very proud of themselves, as am I.”It was also an exciting day at Nathan Philips Square where the two pairings of Alex Krol and Kevin Drake, and Cornelia Oosthuzien and Kirk Hughes entertained the crowds with some thrilling play.The day started with a swift 6-0 win for Cornelia and Kirk against the Canadians. Despite some fierce battling, they were defeated in their second match of the day against the experienced New Zealand pair.
Alex, last year's gold medallist, paired up with Kevin and showed why they are favourites to take the title again. They won both their matches without the loss of a game and will be looking to keep up the good form when play continues tomorrow.You can follow the UK Team’s Invictus Games journey on Facebook @HelpforHeroesOfficial, Twitter @HelpforHeroes @H4H_SR and on BBC One every evening.