16 June 2017'London 2017 will be bigger for me than gold in Rio'
Winning again in London this summer, on the biggest stage, would be pretty spectacular but I know I have a big job to do first.
The championships represent an event which, to me, is a very close second to London 2012 and a chance to win back the IPC T44 world title I last won in 2013 before missing Doha through injury two years ago.
Having to sit out the Doha championships with a sore on one of my legs was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in athletics. My body simply couldn’t go on much longer at that stage.
‘This will be huge for me, it’s about being back where it all began’
I had beaten Richard Browne, who went on to win the 100metres, in Newcastle before the championships and that gave me great confidence so it was really tough to miss out on the big one.
But now I’m back, as double Paralympic champion, and I’m running sub-11 seconds as early in the year as I ever have. I recorded 10.76 and 10.80 in Loughborough recently, with no real wind, but I didn’t execute as well as I should have.
However, I’ve dipped under 11sec four times in 2017 so far and I feel I’m in a better place than I was at this time last season. I’d also say it’s the best position I’ve been in at this stage of the year.
I know the British public will get behind us — like nowhere else in the world — and that’s why I said this week that London is bigger than the Rio Games for me. We do a championships right.
As an event, this will be huge and for me it’s about being back where it all began in London five years ago. Those Games set the standard back in 2012 and Rio was just not the same — it was never going to be the same. London had set the bar so high and Rio had a lot to live up to.
But by being back in the Olympic Stadium, I know I’ll get that buzz again — that place is just incredible.
It won’t be easy to win, though. I know everyone else in that race will be doing everything they can stop to me winning the gold medal in front of my home fans.
I wanted Virgil to be a red
I’M so depressed about the transfer of Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool falling through! I’d been tracking him for over a year and thought he would work well under Jurgen Klopp.
I’d explained it all to my girlfriend and then woke up the next morning and found it had all gone wrong and that Liverpool had apologised to Southampton over the matter. I still live in hope we’ll be able to bring in some top signings.
This summer, the world’s best athletes return to the London Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (14-23 July). Don’t miss the chance to see the ‘Superhumans’ in action once again. Tickets available from just £10 at tickets.london2017athletics.com