A Chesterfield athlete picked up two gold medals and a bronze from an unforgettable World Cerebral Palsy Games.
Ellie Simpson wasn’t involved in sport of any kind two years ago, but now she’s a world number one.
Sheffield Hallam University student Simpson was hopeful of a medal when she spoke to the Derbyshire Times before the championships – and a three-medal haul has left her ecstatic.
“it was an incredible experience and one that I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” she said.
“From the moment I arrived at the Athlete’s Village and got changed into my kit for the Opening Ceremony, I knoew it was goind to be good – but I never could have imagined how fantastic it turned out to be.”
Simpson competes in racerunning, with a frame that resembles a trike, and the club throw – the Paralympic equivalent to the hammer throw.
Her performances in Manchester at the World Games, including gold in the 100m and 200m and bronze in the clubthrow, came despite nerves and adverse conditions.
She said: “I am so thrilled with my race results.
“Especially after how nervous I felt in the call-up room, and considering the strong headwind in the 100m.
“The weather conditions made throwing difficult, but taking everything into account I was really pleased to take the bronze.”
She ran the 200m in 53.56 seconds, which made her world number one for her classification, and the 100m in 27.41.
“That was disappointing considering I ran it in 24.7s in my last race in June, but there was a massive headwind so everyone was fighting against the gust and I still got Gold, so I can’t complain.
“As for the club throw, unfortunately I don’t actually know my distance - it was absolutely pouring with rain and I was the last thrower on, so we were all rushed back inside! The results are being processed to be published online.”
Along with the competitive aspect of the World Games, Simpson enjoyed the experience of being an international athlete.
“Obviously we were all there to compete, but away from the sports, we all became like one big family and the laughs and fun we had was priceless,” she said.
“It was really good to see different sports too. Quite often we get into a ‘track and field bubble’, so it was great to be a spectator at other sports.”
One more competition in September will complete her 2015 season before winter training, and a brand new throwing frame that she hopes will boost her bid to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
“I am hoping to source a brand new throwing frame that will allow me to throw much, much better and in racerunning, I’m going to continue to train hard to hopefully keep my world number one places and I hope compete in Copenhagen next July.”