JENNY McLoughlin admitted it was a blow not to come away with a medal on day one of the IPC European Athletics Championships after setting a personal best in the semi-finals.
The 22-year-old sprinter finished fifth in the T37 100m final in Swansea – just over a tenth of a second off the medals – as the gold was won by Mandy Francois-Elie of France.
McLoughlin finished just behind her French rival in the morning’s heats, lowering her personal best to 14.38 seconds, and would have had to run close to her new mark in order to medal.
She wasn’t short of support in front of a home crowd with Sainsbury’s a proud sponsor of the British Paralympic Association and its athletes all the way to Rio 2016.
And, having missed the entire of last season with an Achilles injury, McLoughlin kept the result in perspective having gone 0.14 slower in the final to clock 14.52 for fifth.
“I'm a bit disappointed because I was obviously hoping for a medal as well,” she said. “But I did well because it was very close between third and fourth – it was a really tough field.
“The atmosphere was great, Swansea’s been great and I’ve loved every minute of it although the result wasn’t what I wanted.
“I got a personal best in the morning and there was a lot to improve on because I was injured all year last year, so to come here and run well is really good.”
And now training alongside Paralympic medallists such as Richard Whitehead and Libby Clegg at Loughborough University – and with an Achilles injury firmly in the past – McLoughlin is adamant she is on an upwards trajectory.
“I missed all of last year with injury, so it’s obviously fantastic to be back,” she added. “I’ve got a new coaching regime so I’m looking forward to the rest of the season and beyond.
“It’s been brilliant training with Richard, Rhys [Jones] and Libby, we all bounce off each other and we are all doing well, which is great.”
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