HANNAH WINS BRONZE!
Congratulations to Hannah Taunton!
Hannah ran the race of her life to smash her personal best by almost five seconds and become Paralympic bronze medallist at the T20 1500 metres in Tokyo.
The race was won by the amazing forty year-old Barbara Bieganowska-Zajac from Poland who made Tokyo her third consecutive Paralympic gold medal and was always the favourite to win. The 2021 European Champion, Liudmyla Danylina of the Ukraine finished second and was always going to be another strong contender for a medal. Hannah always had the potential to medal but needed to run her perfect race and get everything right on the day, and as all runners know, it’s hard to get everything perfect on the big occasions. However, Hannah coped brilliantly under the pressure of world-class competition to do just that.
Hannah held her nerve when the Japanese athlete Furuya went off at a blistering pace. She kept the leading three of Furuya, Bieganowska and Danylina within her sights and after many months of practice sessions, she blasted her last lap and the final two hundred metres to 'storm' past Furuya to take bronze.
From beginner runner to Paralympic bronze medallist – it's been an eighteen-year journey of long-term athlete development with Taunton AC for thirty year-old Hannah. She started out with a taste of Sportshall athletics, then joined the youth endurance group, has run at South West Athletics League and Cross-Country over the years, before trying her hand very successfully on the roads and then finally transitioning back to track racing six years ago. And she has been supported by Taunton club coaches, volunteers and her fellow athletes and training partners throughout her eighteen years at the club.
A brilliant achievement by TAC's first ever Paralympian.
Photo: Roger Keller