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Three medals for Stratford’s Williams during European competition in Poland

STRATFORD upon Avon Athletics Club’s Paula Williams celebrated one gold and two bronze medals after representing Team GB in the European Masters Championships in Poland.

Williams won the W50 shot and medalled in the 60m and javelin in Torun, but a serious Achilles injury meant she was unable to take part in her strongest event, the 60m hurdles, having picked up the problem on the opening day in her 60m semi-final.

She had breezed through the heats, clocking a season’s best time of 8.42 secs and then made light work of the semi-final in 8.30 to qualify for the final, only to suffer a troublesome Achilles injury.

On day two, it was the shot put and after a tense and exciting last round Williams finished in the gold medal position to be crowned European champion. Her final throw of 12.49 metres edged out Sonja Rommert from Germany by nine centimetres.

Paula Williams with her three medals.
Paula Williams with her three medals.

Williams was in action in the 60m final on day three and what a race that turned out to be.

Drawn in lane 5, Williams managed to secure a bronze medal in the tightest of tight finishes with just one hundredth of a second separating the third, fourth and fifth placed sprinters. She took the bronze medal literally in the last stride with what seemed like sheer bloody mindedness even though she limped away following the end of the race.

Next up was the javelin on Friday where she added to her medal tally by winning bronze with a best throw of 35.28m, just behind the silver medal winner from Germany who threw 35.42 and the gold medal winner Dorit Naor from Israel, who triumphed with 35.68.

Williams’ plan was then to contest the 60m hurdles but the exertions from her previous efforts and her painful Achilles meant that she had to withdraw at the last minute.

Her performances helped Team GB to fourth place in the overall medal table with the hosts Poland in first place. Now she will start her recovery with a view to competing in the World Masters Championships in Gothenburg in August.

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