Olivia Breen finally pips rival Hahn for Commonwealth gold

·3 min read
Olivia Breen finally pips rival Hahn for Commonwealth gold

Olivia Breen finally achieved the unthinkable as she got the better of great rival Sophie Hahn at last.

The pair have been going up against one another for the best part of a decade, but double Paralympic champion Hahn has triumphed every time.

But after nine long years, the 26-year-old Team Wales sprinter finally took down her nemesis, running her down in the closing stages of the 100m T38 at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

In front of a capacity crowd at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, Breen took in every moment, setting off on an interminable lap of honour to celebrate her success.

“It was amazing; the stadium is amazing. It’s just incredible. All the hard work has paid off and I’m just so happy that it’s come together,” said Breen, who is one of over 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support.

“I knew that I’m in good shape and this morning I said to myself ‘Livvy, don’t go too hard in the heats, there’s a final tonight.’ And I did it, I’m just so happy. It has been all the hard work coming together. Things are getting better and better each year, it’s great preparation for Paris 2024 and I’m just so excited.

“The crowd really helped. Last year in Tokyo we had no family and friends here so it’s lovely to be back to normality and to have a crowd again. I want to say a big thank you to Birmingham for coming out and supporting us. And of course, Team Wales, they have been amazing, and my coach! A massive shout out for my coach (Aston Moore), a massive thank you to him.”

Earlier in the day Jeremiah Azu confirmed his position as one of the rising stars in British sprinting as he eased into the semi-finals of the 100m.

Wales’ first-ever UK champion over the 100m, Azu missed the recent World Championships with a hamstring niggle.

But he showed that he is well and truly over that as he came through his heat in second place in a time of 10.35 seconds.

And now he has every intention of making real waves in Wednesday’s semi-final and final.

He said: “It was the first test. I got out well, took it easy, kept it flowing. I’m happy, feeling good so I’ll come back tomorrow and do the business.

“People around me wouldn’t have been shocked by the British Championships, but for the people that aren’t it was. Now I need to showcase myself to the world.”

Elsewhere Adele Nicoll booked her place in the final of the shot put in fourth spot, first of the home nations athletes.

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