Breen sets new best time to mark birthday in style

Olivia Breen   Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Olivia Breen Picture: Ian Hargreaves
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Birthday-girl Olivia Breen got the perfect present as she starred on National Paralympic Day at London’s Olympic Stadium.

The Paralympic bronze medallist, 19, clocked a new 100m T38 personal best as she crossed the line in 13.42sec to finish third at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games.

And she is now looking ahead with confidence to the IPC World Championships in Doha later this year – as she bids to improve on two fifth-places two years ago.

‘I couldn’t get a better birthday present, running a personal best in this stadium and in front of all your friends and family,’ said Breen.

‘I couldn’t be more happy. I’ve been running really well this year but I’ve had some good times in illegal winds, so it feels so amazing to finally get something legal.

‘I love this stadium so much, the track feels so fast and it’s my favourite in the world.’

With the World Championships not until October, Breen will now take a mid-season break, heading to a Greek beach for some rest and relaxation before returning to training at her Lee Valley base.

And she was given a glimpse of the challenge ahead as British team-mate Sophie Hahn set a new world record of 13.00.

‘I’ve got two weeks off now and then I’ll back into training and get myself ready for Doha,’ added Breen.

‘I’ve got to be aiming for a medal in Doha but the first target is to keep lowering that personal best.

‘Sophie’s achievement is incredible. We’re good friends and we really push each other on and it’s so good for British athletics.

‘We’re also both really young so hopefully it’s the start of something special.’

Sunday’s IPC Grand Prix event on the final day of the Anniversary Games also formed part of the celebrations for National Paralympic Day, an annual event designed to help continue the legacy of the 2012 Games.

There was also elite level swimming at the Aquatics Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and Breen admitted she was delighted at the continued interest in Paralympic sport.

‘I was so happy my birthday was on National Paralympic Day,’ joked Breen.

‘It’s a great chance to keep our sport in the public eye and bring back those memories of London 2012.’

n National Paralympic Day is generously supported by Spirit of 2012. Find out more at paralympics.org.uk/npd2015