Olivia Breen hunts down English rival | Sunday Observer

Olivia Breen hunts down English rival

7 August, 2022
Olivia Breen
Olivia Breen

Wales’ Olivia Breen hunted down English rival Sophie Hahn in a spectacular T37/38 100m heist at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Breen, 26, took her biggest sprint win yet, beating defending champion Hahn in a personal best 12.83 seconds.

Paralympic gold medallist Hahn, who finished in 13.09 seconds, slumped to the track as Breen shrieked in delight.

Breen’s win secures the first track and field medal of the Games and Wales’ third gold of Birmingham 2022. It is also the first medal by a Welsh woman in track athletics at the Commonwealth Games since Kay Morley won the 100m hurdles in 1990 in Auckland.

“I am absolutely over the moon. Ten years’ hard work and I’ve never run this fast. I am really happy,” Breen said.

“I just can’t believe it and I want to thank my team for believing in me. “Obviously this year I’ve had a really good season and Sophie has been a really good rival for years and I knew that it would come, and it did come!”

Breen’s victory over Hahn marks a remarkable reversal in the pair’s form and fortunes from last summer’s Tokyo Games. In Japan, Hahn defended her T38 title in imperious style, with Breen a distant seventh.

Hahn drove out of the blocks and led at 30m, but Breen built speed to dismantle the gap and power away to victory.

In 2017, Breen’s father questioned Hahn’s classification, suggesting her victories came against more impaired rivals. Hahn responded by accusing Breen’s father of “constant intimidation”.

On an evening where Para-athletics took the lead, seven-time Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft and England team-mates Kare Adenegan and Fabienne Andre completed a clean sweep of the T33/34 100m. (BBC Sport)