Melissa Nicholls thrilled to share global stage at Paralympics
A TEACHING assistant from Gloucester has spoken of her honour at competing against London 2012 poster girl Hannah Cockroft in a Paralympic final.
Melissa Nicholls could not match Great Britain's latest track star as she stormed to the T34 200m gold medal in the Olympic Stadium last night, but she was full of pride at her own performance.
The 35-year-old, competing at her first Paralympic Games, finished in seventh position after clocking a time of 40 seconds.
Cockroft, already the 100m champion, added the 200m crown in a new Paralympic record time of 31.90secs, with Nicholls left to marvel at her British team-mate.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
"I feel on top of the world after that race," she said.
"It was so amazing just to get to London 2012, and to be in that final I didn't expect that at all.
"Then to be able to share it with Hannah is the most amazing feeling of my life.
"She insisted I joined her on a lap of honour but I didn't want to take her glory so I stayed just a bit behind her as a support crew, because she is the girl of the moment.
"She is 'Hurricane Hannah' and is such a wonderful person. We get on really well even though we compete against each other, and although she is younger than me I look up to her as my role model and she is someone I want to be like."
For Nicholls, who only began competing at the top level of the sport last year, making the final was an achievement in itself.
She qualified sixth fastest with a time of 39.41 seconds, making up for the disappointment of missing out on the 100m final.
And although she clocked a slower time in the showpiece event itself, Nicholls vowed to become stronger for her whole Games experience.
"I'm pleased just to get to the final," she admitted.
"I'd have liked to go faster but this was my first Games and I've only just started racing. I was a bit gutted not to make the 100m final but 200m is my favourite event anyway.
"I'm so lucky to be here and I'm so grateful to everyone who has got me here and worked with me over the last few weeks.
"This is a starting point for me, and what a starting point to have – your home Paralympic Games, it's a bit crazy.
"But it is just the beginning. I'm not up with the top girls yet but I definitely will be in the future."
â Lloyds TSB, proud supporter of ParalympicsGB and proud partner of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Get closer to the Games at lloydstsb.com/london2012.