Injured servicemen take top spots at Invictus Games '“ and win praise from Prince Harry
TWO soldiers have clinched medals in the Invictus Games with one winning personal backing from Prince Harry.
Double-amputee Dave Henson was declared ‘world class’ by the prince after he ran the best T42 200-metre in the world this year.
The former Army captain, from Whiteley, was taking part in the games as one of hundreds of injured servicemen from 13 different countries.
As the sprinter walked down to the track Prince Harry, who has been the driving force behind the Paralympic-style competition, said: ‘He smashed his personal best, he’s world class.’
When the ex-Army officer, who lost his legs when he stepped on an IED in Afghanistan in 2011, crossed the finish line Harry jumped up from his seat cheering.
He said: ‘I felt good, I felt strong, comfortable – I’ve been out here for a little while and my training’s all been going really well.’
And Southsea soldier Angelito Barbierato, who first picked up a bow 18 months ago, won a double gold at the games.
Afghanistan and Iraq veteran Angelito romped to victory with a spectacular performance in the open recurve and the team recurve event in Orlando, Florida.
The 31-year-old Lance Corporal won back-to-back victories in the preliminary heats propelling him to the finals, where he went head-to-head with rival Brit and runner-up Chris Macfadyen.
Speaking of his victory, ace-shot Angelito said it was the proudest moment of his life. He said: ‘To be honest I was relieved being up against another Brit in the final.’
‘Chris Macfadyen and myself have been neck and neck in training and even have the same personal best, so I knew it would go to whoever handled their nerves better.
‘The whole experience was incredible and I’m proud to be bringing gold home.’
Angelito’s win follows in the wake of Micky Yule, paralympian power lifter and former instructor at the Horsea Island defence diving school in Portsmouth, who secured Britain’s first gold.
Angelito suffered a leg injury while serving with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
A few years ago the keen sportsman seriously broke his ankle.
Fellow Invictus Games competitor and University of Portsmouth student Jon Flint finished eighth in the preliminary archery, 15th in the 50m back stroke and 29th in the men’s 50m freestyle.