Holton-le-Clay para-athlete completes clean sweep with Euro gold

Hollie Arnold will be bidding to defend the Paralympic title she won in Rio in 2016 (Photo:Neil Munns/ParalympicsGB) EMN-180827-121122002
Hollie Arnold will be bidding to defend the Paralympic title she won in Rio in 2016 (Photo:Neil Munns/ParalympicsGB) EMN-180827-121122002

Holton-le-Clay para-athlete Hollie Arnold completed the clean sweep of major titles when she was crowned European champion last week.

The javelin thrower produced a championship record to claim gold at the World Para Athletics European Championships in Berlin.

It was the first European title for the 24-year-old who won Commonwealth gold in the F46 event earlier this year to add to her world and Paralympic successes.

“I’m so happy to have all the titles now,” she said.

“It’s incredible to think I am Paralympic champion, world champion, world record holder and now European champion.

“I wasn’t expecting to compete at the Europeans because my event is not normally in, so this is a bonus.

“The event got taken out at Swansea in 2014 so coming here I thought ‘I’m here, why not enjoy it?’ and try and get the crowd going and just go for it.”

Arnold, who set the current world record of 43.02 to win Commonwealth gold, broke the championship record three times this time as she finished more than seven metres clear of the rest of the field.

The former Cordeaux Academy pupil opened with an effort of 38.94m which she bettered in the fourth round with a record distance of 39.71m.

But she saved the best until last with a final round throw of 40.15m, the first time a 40m-plus distance has been achieved at the European Championships.

Yet despite holding every major international crown, Arnold insisted she remained hungry for more success with her next long-term goal being the defence of her Paralympic title, in Japan, in 2020.

“This is just a stepping stone ready for next year and then Tokyo,” she added.

“I’m so excited to get knuckling down for winter training.

“A massive thanks to my coach Dave Turner; he has been an absolute legend, supporting me through my ups and downs.

“Before this competition we thought we weren’t ready, but today just proves that it is still there, and I’m really excited for the next upcoming events.

“He has really helped me side-by-side and I probably wouldn’t be here winning this gold medal if it wasn’t for him, so a massive thanks to him.

“We have got bigger fish to fry and I’m really excited for the next few months ahead.”