Paralympics 2012: Bev Jones says farewell to Games with London bronze

BEV Jones has retired from the Paralympics ‘very happy’ after securing bronze medal success.

The Mancot thrower joined the exclusive Flintshire Olympic and Paralympic medal class of 2012 with her final effort in the F37 discus at the Olympic Stadium.

The veteran Paralympian was looking for her first medal at the fourth attempt. Her success means she joins Olympic gold medallist Jade Jones of Flint in bringing glory for the county from a fabulous London summer.

For the 37-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, it was a major achievement and a final one, as she has no plans to compete in Rio in four years.

“I am very happy. It was worth the wait to get a medal in the end,” she said. “I have worked hard for it in the discus. I had to have faith in myself and keep cool, and I managed to do that with my last throw.

“When I did my lap of honour I saw my mum, my brother, my auntie and my niece. Unfortunately some of them had to go back to Flintshire straight after the final.

“This is the last one for me so I will enjoy myself, enjoy the village and relax.”

Her bronze was Team GB’s 19th athletics medal of the Paralympic Games. They finished with 29 medals in track and field, 12 more than Beijing four years ago.

But for Jones it was all about finally having a Paralympic honour to show for years of toil.

“I was very emotional afterwards because I had a tangible reward for my efforts,” she said. “Seeing my room-mate Gemma Prescott win a bronze medal in the club throw made me want to get one as well.

“The support was fantastic. I felt a bit of pressure, but I knew I had to hold it together. You have to switch it off as much as you can, you have to think about what you have been doing in your training.”

Her first Paralympics saw her finish fourth in the T38 100 metres at Sydney in 2000 before she switched to throwing events and came fifth in shot put in Athens in 2004.

The Beijing Games in 2008 saw her fifth in the shot put but at London Jones managed to finally land that coveted podium place as she threw the discus 30.99 metres for bronze.

The only throwers to better Jones were both Chinese. Mi Na, who also triumphed over Jones in the shot put, threw a world record 35.35m to make it double gold while Xu Qiuping managed 32.08m for silver.