Brilliant Bushell earns plaudits

Salisbury Journal: Mickey Bushell, pictured, says David Weir inspired him to win Paralympic gold Mickey Bushell, pictured, says David Weir inspired him to win Paralympic gold

Wheelchair sprinter Mickey Bushell brought tears to the eyes of a Paralympic icon by claiming Great Britain's fifth gold medal at the Olympic Stadium.

Bushell, who was born with seven vertebrae missing from the lower part of the back, upgraded his Beijing silver with a dominant victory in the T53 100 metres. It was an emotional moment not only for the 22-year-old athlete, but also for Canada's 14-time Paralympic champion Chantal Petitclerc, who has been working as a coach and mentor to the British team since January.

She said: "I was crying. We've spent the last two weeks together and you get attached to these boys and you want them to do well. He was brilliant, really brilliant."

The Telford athlete, the world record holder, got off to a flying start and raced away from the field to win in a new Paralympic record 14.75 seconds, and he revealed watching David Weir's brilliant T54 5,000m win the previous night had fuelled his ambition to succeed.

"Last night I watched Dave Weir and as he crossed the line I was bouncing off the walls in my room. I didn't know what to do," he said. "He's been a massive influence - just as a team-mate, he's been there for me."

Weir himself returns to the stadium on on Tuesday night in pursuit of gold medal number two in the 1500m.

He still had time to congratulate his team-mate and protege, though, tweeting: "Smashed it mate wicked love ya x."

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