Stretton joy in leading ParalympicsGB 1-2-3 in women’s archery
Teenager Jessica Stretton admitted her pride after a leading a famous 1-2-3 podium sweep by ParalympicsGB in Rio.
World bronze medallist Stretton, just 16, claimed women’s W1 archery gold, edging past team-mate Vicky Jenkins in the semi-final before beating Jo Frith 137-124 in the gold medal match.
Jenkins - who had spent the previous three days in hospital - also won her bronze medal match with Korea’s Kim Ok-Geum on the final arrow, winning 125-124.
“I hope to continue to compete and hopefully go to the Tokyo 2020 Games. I just love the rush of it, the feeling of satisfaction when you compete well and get medals.” Jessica Stretton
Stretton, the youngest member of the archery team, only picked up her GCSE results before flying out to Brazil and won silver at the recent European Championships in France. She said:
“This is an amazing experience and an amazing opportunity. I guess I was pretty nervous, I felt like I was taking a step for the youth that can be in para-sport and showing them that it can be done and it will be done.
“It feels just amazing. We’ve had a podium like this at the Europeans and it’s just the most amazing feeling ever to do it at the Paralympics.
“I hope to continue to compete and hopefully go to the Tokyo 2020 Games. I just love the rush of it, the feeling of satisfaction when you compete well and get medals.”
“It’s still sinking in a little bit, but it’s been an amazing ride and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
"We came this morning to see whether I could pull my bow back and to see whether I could shoot. I’m feeling loads better, getting a bronze medal definitely helps.” Jo Frith
"It's the prize that we all aim for, when we start out in sport - coming to the Paralympics and winning a medal.
“Of course we want to win a gold medal but I'll take silver any day of the week. It's been totally awesome.
"We were hoping for a 1-2-3 but fair play to Vicky, she's been in the hospital for the last three days. To come out here and take the bronze and make it a sweep is absolutely amazing.”
Meanwhile, Jenkins claimed her bronze felt extra special considering just 24 hours earlier she was unable to move and competing seemed highly unlikely. The 39-year old from Worcester said:
“I came out of the hospital late last night. I’ve got a neurological problem and I woke up on Monday and I couldn’t move and I was in more pain than usual.
“It was really chronic pain and the doctors here did everything they could and, in the end, it was getting pretty serious so they sent me off to the hospital for about two days.
"We came this morning to see whether I could pull my bow back and to see whether I could shoot. I’m feeling loads better, getting a bronze medal definitely helps.”