GB brings home four medals from European Athletics Championships

The GB Team has returned to the UK with a total of four medals from the Inas Open European Athletics Championships, which took place in Bergen Op Zoom in the Netherlands last week. Nineteen-year-old heptathlete Martina Barber from Stevenage stole the show with an impressive point total of 3,229 across the heptathlon’s eight individual events, which secured her the gold medal.

Martina said: “I’m very happy to have won the gold medal in the heptathlon in the Netherlands. It’s so exciting to retain my title and to set new personal bests in the 100m hurdles and high jump.”

Other medal winning performances included those of sprinter Marcel Hodge from Leicester who took silver in the 200m with a time of 23.06s and bronze in the 100m with a time of 11.43s. Declan Manning from Suffolk won a bronze in the hammer throw with a distance of 30.79m.

Team Manager and Head Coach Paul Burns said: “Martina had a fantastic performance and broke her personal best by a huge margin. What a showing by Declan as well. They have been on the Team for four years and have improved every year and they’re only getting stronger. It’s nice to see our athletes come through with medals. We also had a number of athletes who made the finals of their events and achieved their PBs.”

Other athletes achieved personal best times, which is an encouraging testament of their progression and ability to continuously improve on their pathway to the 2015 Global Games and potentially the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

This year’s Championships featured a very competitive field of athletes from across Europe, featuring 19 countries and 152 athletes. The team was selected and managed by the UK Sports Association for People with Learning Disability (UKSA) and was made up of a total of nine athletes from across the UK. Athletes with learning disability are classified as T20 for track events and F20 for field events.

UKSA Chief Executive Tracey McCillen said: “Congratulations to the medal winners. It’s always rewarding to see talented British athletes reach the podium. I would like to give a special word of thanks to the four staff members who offered their support to the athletes in the Netherlands.”


  • Martina Barber (Stevenage) won gold in the women’s heptathlon, setting new personal bests in the 100m hurdles, high jump, javelin and 800m.
  • o100m Hurdles – (2nd) 19.97 (411 points)
  • oHigh Jump (1st) – 1.40 (512 points)
  • oShot Put (2nd) – 7.81 (387 points)
  • o200m (1st) 28.68 (578 points)
  • oLong Jump (2nd) 4.39 (401 points)
  • oJavelin (1st) 23.19 (348 points)
  • o800m (1st) 2.38.44 (592 points)
  • Sprinter Marcel Hodge (Leicestershire) took home silver in the men’s 200m (23.06) and bronze in the 100m (11.43).
  • Declan Manning (Suffolk) placed third in the men’s hammer throw with a personal best throw of 30.79m.
  • Chloe Knight (Lancashire) set new personal bests of 4.80m in the long jump and 9.00m in the triple jump.
  • Holly Durbidge (Lowestoft) placed fifth in discus (21.32m) and 200m (28.72), as well as sixth in the 100m (13.83).
  • Aidan Turnbull (Tyne & Wear) placed fifth in the men’s 100m (11.85).
  • Owen Miller (Fife) placed fifth in the men’s 1500m (4:05.33).

The Team was led by Team Manager and Head Coach Paul Burns (Barrow-in-Furness), along with GB Coaches Christine Galloway (Halifax) and Tommy Patterson (Glasgow) who was selected to take part in the Commonwealth Games Queens Baton Relay. The GB physiotherapist was Nicola Tennant (Glasgow).

UKSA promotes, facilitates and supports talented athletes with learning disability in the UK to train, compete and excel in national and international competitive sport.

UKSA manages the eligibility and classification process for UK athletes with learning disability. The Great Britain Team is managed by UKSA in collaboration with its four Home Country members, Scottish Disability Sport, Disability Sports Northern Ireland, Welsh Sports Association for People with Learning Disability and Mencap Sport in England.

For further info, high res images and interview opportunities please contact Andy Wittry or Emma Macorison

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1.The UK Sports Association for People with Learning Disability (UKSA) is the national disability sports organisation and umbrella body in the UK for sport and people with learning disability. UKSA promotes, supports and facilitates talented sports people with learning disability in the UK to train, compete and excel in national and international sport and is the body responsible for eligibility and classification of athletes from the UK. UKSA is recognised by UK Sport, is a member of the British Paralympic Association and is the official Great Britain member of Inas. See

2.Inas, For Para-Athletes with Intellectual Disability (formerly INAS-FID), founded in 1986, is a member of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and is the body responsible for the international competition for athletes with intellectual disability. See

3.Learning Disability is a term used in the UK, with intellectual disability being used internationally. Both refer to the same group of athletes. Learning disability is a “hidden disability”. It inhibits how a person learns and performs every day functions that others take for granted. It also reduces communication, understanding, social, and living skills. In elite performance sport learning disability is defined as an IQ of 75 or less; significant limitations in adaptive behaviour and age of onset of the learning disability being in the development years, i.e. 0 -18 years. This definition adopted by Inas is from the World Health Organisation (WHO) definition of learning disability (mental handicap) and is in line with other internationally recognised definitions.

4.UKSA and Inas are different to Special Olympics. UKSA promotes performance led elite competitive sport, has just one classification group in events and is focussed on the performance and winning gold. UKSA and Inas are part of the pathway to Global Games and Paralympic Games. Special Olympics are a year-round sports training and competition programme for adults and children with learning disability. Special Olympics competitions are divisioned so that athletes compete with other athletes of similar ability in each sport. Special Olympics competitions are non-elite catering to all-ability levels. Special Olympics focus is on participation and improving an athlete’s quality of life. High sports ability athletes may progress to the Paralympic level through UKSA and Inas.

5.The full list of the medal winners at the Inas Open European Athletics Championships was as follows:


Martina Barber Women’s Heptathlon 3,229


Marcel Hodge 200m 23.06


Declan Manning Hammer Throw 30.79

Marcel Hodge 100 m 11.43

To see the full list of results including heats please visit

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