15 August 2018Double Paralympic sprint champion Jonnie Peacock hits out at lack of events in build up to Tokyo 2020
Jonnie Peacock has hit out at the frustratingly small number of Paralympic events in the Tokyo 2020 build-up.
The double Paralympic sprint champion, who also holds two world and European titles, said it was particularly disappointing the Birmingham Grand Prix organisers had dropped the Para events it held last year.
The dearth of elite races means Peacock, 25, must pay entry fees to compete in lower-level Open events against able-bodied athletes.
Jonnie Peacock would like more chances to face his T44 100m rivals before the Paralympics
In contrast to the 14 Diamond League events on offer each year to the world’s top able-bodied sprinters, Peacock will have few chances over the next two years to prepare for Tokyo.
Asked how many races he had lined up, he told Sportsmail: ‘Not many. There is the Great CityGames — there could be three of them before Tokyo. And two Anniversary Games. It’s not great.’
eacock admitted that the total number could increase to six, depending on final arrangements regarding another event, but ideally he would like far more chances to face his T44 100m rivals before the Paralympics.
The organisers of this weekend’s Muller Grand Prix in Birmingham have not included any Para events, despite staging three last year.
Peacock said: ‘I’m particularly disappointed about Birmingham. We pride ourselves in Britain on being fore-runners in Paralympic sport.
‘It makes complete sense to put them in. Sometimes when (organisers) say they can’t, it is a bit disappointing. A couple of Para events gives something different. It’s frustrating. There are not enough Paralympic events in this country.’
He must pay entry fees to compete in lower-level Open events against able-bodied athletes
Asked how his tally of races could increase, Peacock said: ‘We rely on Diamond League organisers but it hasn’t been great in the past. It is getting better, but I want to see it happen more.’
Peacock said he would most likely end up entering five or six Open races a year against able-bodied athletes to keep race-fit. These usually cost between £5 and £10 to enter.
‘It is strange that one minute I can be competing in the Great CityGames and the next minute I am competing at an Open and having to pay to make a race,’ he admitted.
This weekend, Peacock is taking part in the npower Superhero Tri, a series for people with disabilities. His first race back after a year off the track will be at the Great CityGames in Newcastle on September 8.