By Ian Dipple Friday 07 September 2012 Updated: 10/09 12:25
SPRINTER Katrina Hart admitted she had endured a rollercoaster London 2012 after winning her first medal at a Paralympic Games only to suffer heartbreak just 12 hours later.
The 22-year-old, from Stock Green near Inkberrow, was part of the 4x100m T35-38 relay team which won bronze on Tuesday night.
But the euphoria quickly turned into crushing disappointment the morning after as Hart failed to make the final of the T37 200m - an event in which she is reigning world champion - after finishing fifth in her heat in 31.04scs.
It followed Sunday’s setback when despite making a good start to the 100m final she only managed a sixth place finish.
Speaking to the Standard, Hart said she had ‘mixed emotions’ during the Games.
“I had a disappointing 100m and then the relay medal boosted my confidence so much. On Wednesday my cerebral palsy was really acting up, it just happened to be the day that it was acting up was one of the biggest days of the year.
“These things happen and I think it’s important to get over it as quickly as you can to face up to the next test. Considering it was so bad I did really well in actually running.”
The Games were far from a failure for Hart though who secured her first medal at a Paralympic Games in the relay, although it looked at one stage as if the British team would be disqualified as Hart and and team-mate Jenny McLoughlin looked to have messed up the final baton changeover as replays suggested the exchange might have been made outside of the designated area. Officials eventually ruled it was a legal change.
“The support from the crowd was absolutely brilliant, especially in the relay which was an absolute whirl. I’ve never experienced anything like that before.
“I’d like to say a massive thanks to everyone who supported me, everyone who came down on the nights I was competing and for all the support on Twitter.”
Hart will now return to Stock Green to stay with her parents while she makes decisions about future training and events.
There was also medal joy for Redditch born Claire Cashmore who won bronze in the pool on Monday as part of the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay 34 points. The 24-year-old, born without a left forearm, will add it to the silver medal she took on Saturday in the SB8 100m breaststroke. Cashmore was due to compete again yesterday (Thursday) in the 200m individual medley and today in the 100m freestyle.
Her sister Ashling Cashmore told the Standard: “Claire is unbelievable, she’s so dedicated, trains so hard and is so driven - I’m constantly in awe of my sister.”
Coun Bill Hartnett, leader of Redditch Borough Council, said as both had associations with the borough the pair would be invited to the next meeting of the Full Council to share their experiences and have their achievements formally recognised.
“They are both an example to us all. We are really proud of them and their associations with the borough.”
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