Paralympic bronze for Eastbourne’s Bethany

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EASTBOURNE-born sprinter, Bethany Woodward, picked up a bronze medal in dramatic circumstances at the Paralympics last night.

Nineteen-year-old Bethany was part of the British 4x100m T35/T38 relay squad who finished third in the Olympic stadium behind winners China, with Russia claiming the bronze medal. She ran the second leg, being handed the baton by first leg runner Olivia Breen.

However, despite crossing the finish line in third place, the British team had to wait for confirmation of their medal because of confusion in the final baton changeover. Questions were raised whether the baton was passed between Katrina Hart and Jenny McLoughlin before the yellow line on the final leg. However judges ruled that the changeover was good, to the delight of the huge 80,000 crowd packed into the stadium.

Bethany was has cerebral palsy born in Eastbourne, but now trains and lives in Ferndown, Dorset. She is a world champon over 400m and is competing in her first Paralympics.

She finished fifth in the 100m at the Commonwealth Games in India in 2010 before peaking again in the 400m at the World Championships in New Zealand in January 2011 to be first across the line. She also won World Championship bronze as part of the 4x100m relay team.