MICKEY Bushell revealed his London 2012 Paralympic medal double bid had been hit by illness but refused to use it as an excuse for missing out on the T53 200m podium.
Bushell had claimed gold over half the distance but squeezed into the final only as a fastest loser – still setting a European record in the process.
A vastly improved showing followed in the medal showdown but the Telford wheelchair racer faded badly on the home straight to see his medal hopes slip away.
The 22-year-old eventually crossed the line in fourth, stopping the clock on 26.32secs but had already seen the bronze medal snatched from his grasp by Yufei Zhao of China, who finished 0.32secs ahead.
Bushell admitted he’d found it a struggle to get through the morning rounds after feeling sick but insisted his medal failure was down solely to racing issues.
“I just didn’t have the top end that the other guys had and that is something for me to work on but it is still a good day even if it was a tough race,” he said.
“I felt a bit sick earlier and I felt a bit weak but after the heats I came back and I rested and I got a lot stronger in time for the final. I didn’t feel fully fit but I felt a lot better than I did in the morning so it wasn’t a problem.”
China’s Huzhao Li dominated the race taking the line in 25.61secs to secure gold, having already taken the 400m title earlier in the competition. Silver went to Brent Lakatos of Canada in 25.85secs with Zhao third.
Bushell admitted he’d be speaking to his coach before making any immediate plans.
“It just didn’t go to plan this year but that’s not a problem,” he added. “There are the World Championships next year so we will go on to that. I’ll speak to my coach and see if I’ll have a break or what my plans are.”
Kidderminster swimmer Claire Cashmore was a member of the relay squad who took silver in the 4x100 metres (34 points) medley, while Halesowen’s Jordanne Whiley and partner Lucy Shuker claimed wheelchair tennis doubles bronze.
Walsall’s Ellie Simmons, meanwhile, was back in the pool today in her bid to claim her fourth medal of the Games.
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