Maria sets a new world record time in T35 200m

Maria Lyle from Dunbar was in sensational form in the Fazza Dubai Paralympic Grand Prix in Dubai at the weekend.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 26th February 2014, 1:07 pm
Maria Lyle from Dunbar
Maria Lyle from Dunbar

Maria, who is only 14, smashed the world and European record in the T35 cerebral palsy category for the 200m with a time of 31.01 seconds.

This took more than one second off the previous world best, held by Ping Liu of China, who is double London 2012 Paralympic champion.

The previous record had stood since 2005. Maria beat two of the worlds top paralympians Claudia Nikoleitzik of Germany and Yam Knox Fan of China, who were second and third respectively.

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Maria then ran the world’s fastest time ever recorded in the 100m with a time of 14.7 sec - the first in Paralympic history to run under 15 seconds - but unfortunately was wind assisted with a 2.5m per second wind speed.

Maria is now firm favourite for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games in Brazil and at the age of only 14 coach Henry Gray from Eyemouth said she is the fastest in history by some considerable margin.

Meanwhile, Berwick athlete Guy Learmonth has scored a hat trick of BUCS titles, after winning his third indoor gold at the prestigious championships.

Running for Loughborough at the British University and College Championships over the weekend, Learmonth rounded off his indoor season in style, crossing the line in 1.50.95 to beat Robert Needham and Ben Waterman into second and third respectively.

After cruising through the rounds - wearing trainers in the heats - the former Longridge Towers student, trained by George Gandy in Loughborough and Henry Gray at home, stepped into his spikes and upped the pace to make his mark in the BUCS Gatorade Nationals final.

“It’s my third BUCS indoor title and my fourth overall, so I’m very happy with that,” he said. “It’s potentially my last ever BUCS so it was great to go out there and to win it in the Loughborough colours. My coach said to me to get to the front and control it (the race) - not to necessarily go too fast.

“It wasn’t very fast through 400 metres but enough to get some breathing space and I made sure I finished strong in the last 200 metres.

“I looked over my shoulder with 50 metres to go and knew I was going to win the race. I kind of shut down then and enjoyed the moment of crossing the line in first place.