Maria Lyle wins ParalympicGB’s first athletics medal in Tokyo

·2-min read
Photo credit: Sam Barnes - Getty Images
Photo credit: Sam Barnes - Getty Images

Maria Lyle has claimed a bronze medal in the women’s T35 100m final at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

The 21-year-old run a season’s best of 14:18 seconds to claim ParalympicGB’s first athletics medal of the Games so far.

China’s Xia Zhou took gold in the event with a time of 13:00 seconds, while Australia’s Isis Holt took silver in 13:13 seconds.

Scottish sensation

Lyle, who has cerebral palsy, adds her latest medal to two Paralympic bronze medals and a silver scooped in Rio in 2016.

More recently, she secured two gold medals in the women’s T35 100m and 200m at the 2021 European Championships in Poland.

Lyle balances her athletics career with studying for a degree in sports coaching. She also runs This Ability Podcast with Gary Heatly, where they chat to guests about what it is like living with a disability in the modern world.

After finishing third in the Paralympic final, she said:

“For me it was about going out there and enjoying the experience. To run the time I have, and to enjoy the experience, I am really happy.

“It was always going to be difficult to challenge for gold and silver so I really had to stick to my own race plan. I didn’t expect the time.

“It was hard to gauge where I was because the other two girls (Zhou and Holt) were quite far ahead but I just focused on what I needed to do for my race.

“I know from my heat I seized up a bit so I knew I had to relax more.”

GB’s Ola Abidogun failed to qualify for the men’s T47 100m final after finishing fourth in the heats in a season’s best of 11.17 seconds.

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