BOUNCING back from adversity is something every professional athlete has to deal with, not least Warrington’s Gemma Prescott after an eventful morning at the IPC Athletics European Championships final.
Prescott picked up a bronze medal in the F32/51 club throw in Swansea in what was a clean sweep on the podium for British competitors.
Local favourite Josie Pearson was pipped to the gold by debutante Joanna Butterfield, who smashed a 13-year-old European record to take the win.
But as Prescott prepared for her event she was told her frame did not comply with IPC standards, meaning last-minute adjustments were necessary for the 30-year-old to take to the circle.
“I went into the call room this morning and they declared the part of my frame that I was holding on to was not legal,” she said.
“As far as we've known it complied with the rules and I've been to various competitions in various locations this summer with the same rules in force and it's passed.
“To come to a major championships and for it not to be passed is not ideal.
“I had to go out and deal with it and throw the best I could. So I'm proud of myself for being able to hold it together to get a decent distance out and pick up a medal.”
Prescott and her British colleagues were not short of support in Swansea, with Sainsbury’s a proud sponsor of the British Paralympic Association and its athletes all the way to Rio 2016.
While the Truro-born F32 thrower insists she enjoys the rivalry between her and the F51s Pearson and Butterfield, she worries that the points system which is necessary to score mixed disability events does not accurately represent the abilities of the athletes.
“It's great to have that competition and rivalry, pushing one another on to do better,” she continued. “The points system is what it is and there's nothing we can do about it.
“Its always difficult when you're trying to combine disabilities to try and find some way of scoring it. There will never be a way of properly scoring it and hopefully we can all compete in events against people with our own disabilities.”
Sainsbury’s is proud to support British Athletics through the Summer Series events and is committed to helping young people lead healthier, more active lifestyles. For more information visit www.sainsburys.co.uk/legacy