European Record and Gold for Blango at Para Athletics Championships

Photo credit: IPC

Columba Blango produced the best run of his career as he won gold in the men’s T20 (intellectual impairment class) 400m on day one (1st June) of the IPC European Para Athletics Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

The record-breaking run by Columba Blango (Chris Zah; Shaftesbury Barnet) was the standout performance of the evening as he broke the European record and his personal best with an exceptional time of 47.90 which ranks him number one in the men’s T20 rankings in Paralympic year.

In the final Blango knew his closest rivals were in the two inside lanes from him, so he powered around the first bend and back straight to hold a narrow advantage over his opponents. As he entered the home straight, the gap kept extending from Charles-Antoine Kouakou (FRA) as he earned a breakthrough win on the continental stage.

The 28-year-old had earlier smashed the European record too as he won his heat in a time of 48.54 from Spain’s Deliber Rodriguez Ramirez which qualified him through to the final with ease.

A delighted Blango said post-race, “I cruised the heat this morning, but I knew tonight I would need to go hard from the beginning in the final. I knew I could pick up from 200m, I just had to keep going and going.

“I’ve been chasing a time under 48 seconds for a while now, so it is a big surprise for me today. I am so glad I could get it today; it is all part of the process.

“I’ve always dreamt of this moment since I was a kid. I don’t think it’ll be my last time [on the podium], there is much more to come, but I want to enjoy it. I’m going to cherish this moment.”

Day 2  saw Hannah Taunton (Charlotte Fisher; Taunton), in the women’s T20 1500m put in a valiant effort as she finished fourth overall in a time of 4:47.33.

She set a T20 world record at the Muller British Athletics Championships in 2020, and performed strongly at her first Europeans, positioning herself well in the field. The leading three opened up a gap on the Taunton athlete with 300 metres to go, a margin that kept extending but the British athlete earned her top four slot.

The European Para Athletics Championships in Bydgoszcz in Poland takes place 1 – 5 June 2021.


British medallists at end of Day 2 (11):

Gold (4): Columba Blango [Men’s T20 400m], Sophie Hahn [Women’s T38 100m], Maria Lyle [Women’s T35 200m], Zak Skinner [Men’s T13 100m]

Silver (3): Shaun Burrows [Men’s T38 400m], Kyron Duke [Men’s F41 Shot Put], Danny Sidbury [Men’s T54 1500m]

Bronze (4): Ola Abidogun [Men’s T47 100m], Luke Nuttall [Men’s T46 1500m], Emily Stewart [Women’s F38 Discus], Alexander Thomson [Men’s T38 400m]


Complete schedule and results are available on the Bydgoszcz 2021 website

Follow live action on the World Para Athletics website and Facebook page (with geo-block restrictions in Spain, Poland, and the United Kingdom).


47 British Athletes make up the Team competing in Bydgoszcz 2021.


Fabienne André (Jenny Archer; Weir Archer Academy) – T34 100m and 800m

Olivia Breen (Aston Moore; City of Portsmouth) – T38 Long Jump and 100m

Lydia Church (Jim Edwards; Peterborough and Nene Valley) – F12 Shot Put

Libby Clegg (Joe McDonnell; Charnwood) [Guide runner – Chris Clarke] – T11 200m and 4x100m Universal Relay

Kayleigh Haggo (John Owens; Ayr Seaforth) – RR3 100m

Sophie Hahn (Leon Baptiste; Charnwood) – T38 100m and 4x100m Universal Relay

Georgie Hermitage (Rod Finch; Basingstoke and Mid Hants) – T37 400m

Sophie Kamlish (Rob Ellchuk; Bristol & West) – T64 100m and 4x100m Universal Relay

Maria Lyle (Jamie Bowie; Team East Lothian) – T35 100m and 200m

Polly Maton (Colin Baross; Team Devizes) – T47 Long Jump and 100m

Anna Nicholson (Richard Kaufman; Gateshead) – F35 Shot Put

Ellie Simpson (Jessica Davidson; Sheffield & Dearne) – RR3 100m

Ali Smith (Benke Blomkvist; Guildford & Godalming) – T38 100m, 400m and 4x100m Universal Relay

Stef Reid (Aston Moore; Charnwood) – T64 Long Jump

Emily Stewart (Janice Kaufman; Gateshead) – F38 Discus

Hannah Taunton (Charlotte Fisher; Taunton) – T20 1500m

Vanessa Wallace (Alison O’Riordan; Enfield and Haringey) – F34 Shot Put

Mel Woods (Rodger Harkins; Red Star) – T54 100m, 400m, 800m and 1500m



Ola Abidogun (Steve Thomas; Horwich) – T47 100m and 4x100m Universal Relay

Jonathan Adams (Margaret Nicholls; Ipswich) – F35 Shot Put

Columba Blango (Chris Zah; Shaftesbury Barnet) – T20 400m

John Bridge (Darrell Maynard; Cardiff) – T47 400m

Jonathan Broom-Edwards (Graham Ravenscroft; Newham & Essex Beagles) – T64 High Jump

Shaun Burrows (Joe McDonnell; Charnwood) – T38 400m

Richard Chiassaro (Jenni Banks; Harlow) – T54 400m and 800m

Barney Corrall (Chris Sinclair; Charnwood) – T38 Long Jump

Aled Davies (Ryan Spencer-Jones; Cardiff) – F63 Shot Put

Kyron Duke (Ryan Spencer-Jones; DSW Para Academy) – F41 Shot Put

James Freeman (Jenny Archer; Weir Archer Academy) – T33 100m

Dan Greaves (Zane Duquemin; Charnwood) – F64 Discus

Harri Jenkins (Nathan Stephens; DSW Para Academy) – T33 100m

Rhys Jones (Kevin Williams; DSW Para Academy) – T37 100m and 200m

Nathan Maguire (Ste Hoskins; Kirkby) – T54 100m, 400m, 800m and 4x100m Universal Relay

Stephen Miller (Ros Miller; Gateshead) – F32 Club Throw

Luke Nuttall (Alison Wyeth; Charnwood) – T46 1500m

Javaughn Parkes (Michelle Nicholas; Birchfield) – T36 100m

Ross Paterson (John Kinder; Red Star) – T38 100m and 400m

Dan Pembroke (David Turner; Windsor Slough Eton and Hounslow) – F13 Javelin

Zac Shaw (Leon Baptiste; Cleethorpes) – T12 100m and 4x100m Universal Relay

Daniel Sidbury (Christine Parsloe; Sutton & District) – T54 400m, 800m, 1500m and 5000m

Luke Sinnott (Roger Keller; Bournemouth) – T63 Long Jump

Zak Skinner (Aston Moore; Loughborough Students) – T13 Long Jump and 100m

Rafi Solaiman (Philip Fleetwood; Sheffield & Dearne) – RR3 100m

Alexander Thomson (Chris Baillie; Victoria Park City of Glasgow) – T38 100m and 400m

Harrison Walsh (Nathan Stephens; Swansea) – F64 Discus Throw

Richard Whitehead (Keith Antoine; Southwell) – T61 200m

Thomas Young (Joe McDonnell; Charnwood) – T38 100m and 4x100m Universal Relay



Story courtesy of British Athletics

Published 2 June 2021