14 July 2017Incredible London is best stage
Back in 2012, I was only in my second year in full-time training as an athlete. Now I’ve got seven/eight years’ experience under my belt.
Suddenly, it’s time for another major event at the Olympic Stadium — the IPC world championships.
For me, the way we run an event in this country, especially as we showed with the 2012 Games, is fantastic and the British public really get behind that, unlike anywhere else in the world.
And that is why this championships is just so big for me. As an event it will be huge and I’m sure it will be incredible to take part in.
‘For me, it’s as big as last year’s Rio Paralympics, if not bigger. I’m back where it all began for me’
For me personally, it’s as big as last year’s Rio Paralympics — if not bigger. I’m back where it all began for me. One of the biggest problems facing Rio was the job London had done four years earlier. London took the Paralympic movement way ahead of where it had been.
We’d competed in front of 80,000 fans at the London Games. For Rio, it was always going to be a struggle to keep up with that.
The buzz in London was incredible — Rio was just not quite the same. Being back in that Olympic stadium this month will have us all flying again.
Five years on from that breakthrough race for me, I have more influence on training than I did back then. I’m still looking to improve, still not happy with my achievements to date.
I want more and that’s where this championships comes in. The Paralympics in Tokyo 2020 also drives me. What drives me every day is the quest for more.
I had some tougher years in 2014 and 2015 but still won the European title in that time. I don’t put pressure on anything now or look too far ahead. It’s all about the next big championships.
I don’t yet know if I’ll be racing world champion Richard Browne in London. He was supposed to race me in Manchester but race organisers told me he hadn’t got on his flight from America.
At the last moment, the people at the Great CityGames had to find a fourth runner. I wish Richard had explained himself, really. I tweeted him to ask him where he is but he has since deleted his account.
Of course I hope he’s okay — I wonder if we will see him come London? He is defending champion after all and said he would have beaten me in Rio last year. If that’s the case, why isn’t he racing?
■ The double paralympic T44 100metres champion writes for Metro on the eve of the IPC World Championships. @JonniePeacock