11:10AM, Monday 06 September 2021
Paralympic champion Emma Wiggs and bronze medallist Jeanette Chippington. Photo: Paralympics GB
Maidenhead's Jeanette Chippington believes she received an extra little push to the finish line from her father, who passed away last year, as she claimed a battling bronze in the VL2 event at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
The gold medal was won by compatriot Emma Wiggs, who has also been through the mill both emotionally and physically with a serious wrist injury over the past five years.
Chippington, 51, was competing at her seventh consecutive Games having initially competed as a swimmer at the Seoul Games in 1988.
She has a remarkable Paralympic medal record, having won medals in the pool in Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney and Athens, before returning after a 12-year absence to win gold in the new sport of KL1 paracanoe in Rio.
Unfortunately, she failed to reach the final of the KL1 in Tokyo, finishing fourth in her semi-final in a time of 1.01.762.
She always felt that claiming a 14th Paralympic medal would be the perfect way to honour her late father, David, who died from Coronvirus last year, as well as her family and friends watching back home. And she managed that in an enthralling VL2 final on Friday.
“I felt the pressure,” she said of her bronze, Paralympics GB’s 100th medal in Tokyo.
“This is my seventh Paralympics and I had medalled at every Games, and I thought, ‘Oh my God, is this going to be the Games where I don’t medal?’
“Last year my dad (David) got Covid and passed away and it’s been so hard. My parents came out to every single Games that I’d done.
“I do think he’d be so proud of me; my coach always says when you’re in your race, just imagine your friends and your family are behind you and pushing you that last bit of the race.
“I literally was thinking that and thought my dad, he’s there, just give me an extra little push.”
Maidenhead MP Theresa May also sent a message of congratulations: “It has been a truly fantastic Paralympics for Team GB and it was great to see another Maidonian adding to the Medal tally.
“Maidenhead’s Jeanette Chippington put in a fantastic performance winning a Bronze medal in the Women’s Single 200m - VL2 Canoe Sprint.
“I want to join everyone in Maidenhead in congratulating Jeanette on her spectacular performance and her hard fought Bronze Medal. The best of Maidenhead has truly been on show at these Olympics and Paralympic games.”
Chippington was inspired to take up sport by her parents after contracting a virus that damaged her spinal cord at the age of 12.
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