IPC Athletics: Georgie Hermitage wins European Championships gold

Georgie Hermitage
Hermitage, who has cerebral palsy, took up Para-athletics after watching London 2012

Britain's Georgie Hermitage improved her T37 400m world record to win gold on day three of the IPC Athletics European Championships in Italy.

The 27-year-old from Guildford came through in the last 100m of the combined T37/38 event to overhaul Russian Margarita Goncharova.

Her time of one minute 0.63 seconds beat her previous best (1:01.30) by more than half a second.

Compatriot David Weir, meanwhile, won his second gold medal of the week.

The six-time Paralympic champion led home team-mate Richard Chiassaro in the T54 400m.

Weir, who had won 5,000m gold on Sunday, beat 200m champion Chiassaro by 0.36 seconds in a new championship record of 46.10, his fastest time since 2008.

"I was saying in warm-up that it would be great to have another Brit on the podium alongside me," said Weir.

"It's great to get a one-two with Rich and it's good for the relay as we have a really strong squad."

Hermitage continues to impress

Hermitage won gold at last year's World Championships in Doha.

The Briton, who has cerebral palsy, gave up the sport as a teenager but returned after the birth of daughter Tilly in late 2012, having been inspired by watching the London Games.

"The 400m is what made me come into Paralympic sport," she said. It is the one that really matters to me.

"When Goncharova overtook me on the back straight I did panic for a second but I tried to remember what to do. Coming into the home straight I had that little bit more left and it all paid off and worked in the end.

"It is not just about speed but about heart, courage and determination. So to come out on top has put me in a good place going forward to Rio."

Elsewhere, there was victory for Britain's Toby Gold in the T33 100m, who led home team-mate Dan Bramall. Their fellow wheelchair racers Mo Jomni and Mickey Bushell took silver and bronze in the T53 400m.

Sam Ruddock won silver in the men's F35 shot while there were bronzes for sprinters Jordan Howe (T35 200m) and Laura Sugar (T44 200m) and wheelchair racer Ben Rowlings (T34 100m).