Superb Bronze Medal for Rebecca Zelic at the 4th European Deaf Indoor Athletics Championships
Deaf UK Athletics’ (DUKA) latest star, Rebecca Zelic won a magnificent Bronze medal at the recent European Deaf Athletics Championships held in Tallinn, Estonia (15th-17th March 2012). 18 year old Rebecca was making her second international athletics debut following her Bronze medal performance at the 2011 European deaf outdoor athletics championships in Kayseri, Turkey. “I am elated to have won a Bronze medal again in the sprint hurdles event. Last year when I made my debut for the Great Britain deaf team, I was very nervous as I did not know what to expect. To come away with the Bronze medal again a year later in the European Indoor Championships is very satisfactory. I had injured my hip in training a few weeks earlier and was still feeling the pain whilst in Tallinn, but I wasn’t going to let it interfere with my performances.” Rebecca said excitedly.
After two false starts due to technical problems in her semi-final race, Rebecca regained her focus and fought hard to win. This gave her huge confidence going into the final. Team Manager Brian Kokoruwe commented; “I had reminded Rebecca that her outdoor European Bronze medal performance was no fluke. She was now amongst the three best deaf hurdlers in Europe, so there was the chance of improving on this in Tallinn.” The final was hotly fought from the gun through to the first few hurdles, however, the European outdoor champion again showed her class by racing away for the gold after the last hurdle. Rebecca pushed herself all the way to finish third in a new PB of 9,54sec; which was just behind Estonia’s Kairit Olenko who grabbed the Silver medal.
Our second athlete, James Schofield participated in the High Jump. James jumped well below his PB and had to settle for 1.86m to finish fifth. “I think these championships were tough. The three best high jumpers in Europe were competing, so it was rather a big task. I tried my best, but wish I could have jumped higher.” Said James. The event was won by the Russian World Record holder, Aleksey Lander, who cleared 2.07m with his first attempt.
On the third day, a rather tired-looking Rebecca returned for the Penthatlon. She gave it her best effort again, but with her hip slightly tender, she found throwing the shot putt and then running the 800m too much and finished fourth. “I am happy to have PBs in some of the individual events. I will return home and work harder. I love the 400m, but it wasn’t part of the Penthatlon. I am looking forward to future deaf international events. My aim is to win gold at the Deaflympics.” Grinned Rebecca. Deaf UK Athletics official Sandra Campbell commented; “These championships are ideal for preparing for a busy summer ahead. Rebecca and James both did us proud. They gave their best performances and with harder work, they are sure to improve in the coming summer months.”
The next major deaf international athletics events are the 2nd World Deaf Athletics Championships in Toronto, Canada, 14-21 July 2012 and the 1st European Junior Athletics Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland 21 – 22 September 2012.
To be considered for the World Championships, all athletes need to participate in the Great Britain World Deaf Championship (WDAC) Trials which are being held in conjunction with the City of Stoke AC Open Meeting on Saturday 21st April 2012. They will be held at Northwood Stadium, Keelings Road, Hanley, Stoke On Trent, Staffordshire ST1 6PA. Tel: 01782 234 400. Closing date for entries; Saturday 14thApril 2012 (late entries will not be accepted).
Deaf UK Athletics (DUKA) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing training, competitions and information relating to track and field, cross country, walking and road running athletics for those deaf people interested in this exciting sport in the UK. Further infoFor entry form visit: www.deafukathletics.org.uk or www.deafinitequality.com. For general enquiries email: [email protected]