PAUL Blake admits the 100m is not his favourite distance but that did not stop him running away with a bronze medal on the opening day of the IPC Athletics European Championships in Swansea this evening.

The 24-year-old Dorchester athlete, pictured, completed a British double on the podium in the 100m, coming in behind compatriot Graeme Ballard, who won silver.

Russian Evgenii Shvetcov set a season’s best 12.33secs to take gold, and being on the outside of the rest of the T36 field in lane eight, Blake says it gave him the chance to focus on perfecting his own performance.

“It’s not my favourite distance, so I’m delighted with a medal,” said Blake, who clocked 12.69 for bronze.

“I was running blind because I was in lane eight, so I wasn’t aware of anybody on the inside of me.

“That meant I had to concentrate on my own race and was lucky enough to come away with a medal.”

And with a British home crowd roaring him on to the podium, he is keen to improve on his performance when he goes in the 400m, his more established event today.

But Blake, who won 400m silver and 800m bronze at the London 2012 Paralympics, is adamant that he is becoming more confident in the sprint events.

The Dorchester man set a recent personal best at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games with a time of 12.46 seconds at Horse Guards Parade, which prompted him to take part over the shorter distance in Wales.

“I knew I was running well over the distance throughout the season, because I had done a few 100m races before this event,” he added.

“I was quite confident going into the race, so I’m pretty happy to come away with a medal.”

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