Arnott left to rue fine margins after European heartache in Berlin

Arnott looked distraught as he crossed the finish line in Berlin. Pic: Ben Booth Photography

The fine margins of sport proved pure agony for Plymouth’s James Arnott after missing out on a European medal by inches.

Just 0.01 seconds separated him from bronze in the T47 100m in Berlin on Wednesday, missing his dip for the line at the crucial moment to be pipped by home favourite Phil Grolla.

But with a race over double the distance to come in less than 24 hours’ time, time to reflect will certainly be minimal for the 21-year-old.

Arnott has also had to deal with a kidney infection during his time in Germany but was keen to play down his illness as a potential point of blame for his disappointment.

“I thought I was going to come out with the atmosphere and grab a personal best but it wasn’t to be,” he said after stopping the clock in 11.37 seconds.

“Everyone came out on the line in their best shape and I have got to take my hat off to everyone in front of me, and behind me.

“I wasn’t feeling comfortable running, I felt like I needed to hit another level, I just couldn’t do it. I am just disappointed in myself really.

“I came out to Berlin not feeling right but hats off to the medical team, they worked out what it was and quickly sorted me. I don’t want to say that had an impact, at the end of the day it was due to my performance.”

The time on the board proved no surprise for Arnott, who has yet to best the 11.24s he set last season.

It’s a setback that has left him as confused as anyone, at a loss to describe the reasons to his form despite securing Commonwealth silver on the Gold Coast earlier this year.

Thursday’s 200m race means not all hope is lost yet however, backing himself to come out the blocks firing as he looks to end his World Para Athletics European Championships on a high.

“I am bit more confident for the 200m because it is a longer race and I believe I have a good strategy so I need keep my head high and come away with a medal there instead,” added Arnott, born with Erb’s palsy which causes restriction in his left shoulder.

“I am just a bit disappointed but I can’t be too much with the 200m still to come.

“It’s been a tough season, my coach and I have been going over things and things have been going well in training but everyone does well in training – maybe there’s something deep down but it’s hard to know what the problem is.”

British Athletics works alongside UK Sport and the National Lottery to support the delivery of success at the world’s most significant sporting events, principally the Olympic and Paralympic Games. They do this via the funded initiative, the World Class Programme, one part of the British Athletics pathway.