September 29th, 2016

Ben Rowlings remains focused ahead of India trip

BEN Rowlings insists he will not get carried away with the prospect of coming home from this year’s IPC Athletics World Championships with a medal despite recent success at domestic level.

The wheelchair racer from Coventry was successful at both the School Games and the England Senior Disability Championships earlier this year.

And the 19-year-old also announced himself internationally last summer after winning Bronze in the T34 800m event at the IPC European Championships in Swansea.

This autumn gives Rowlings the chance to transfer that form onto the world stage with the World Championships taking place from October 22-31 in Doha.

But with selection for the British team being his first goal, Rowlings knows he must remained focused to secure his place on the flight to India.

“My main target for this year is just to be able to go to Doha and then once I’m there I’ll worry about making finals and medalling,” he said.

“But the thing is with my classification being so strong, every race is going to be a tough one to make a final in.

“I know I’m capable of finishing top five, top six and possibly pushing on for a medal if the race pans out the way I need it to.

“But at the moment, it’s trying to push for selection because I know I’ve got some really strong British guys that are going to be keeping me on my toes.

“Just being able to close the gap on the guys in front is what’s important to me at the minute.”

Results this year hold particular significance with the Rio 2016 Paralympics ticking ever closer.

Back in March, Rowlings added the T34 800m British record to his 100, 200, and 400m leading times when he clocked 1:50.43 minutes at the Sharjah International Open meeting in the United Arab Emirates.

He has recently been unveiled as one of the latest BT Ambassadors, joining the likes of Paralympic gold medallists Jonnie Peacock and Hannah Cockcroft on the team.

And with Rio firmly in his mind, Rowlings admits he is relishing the added attention on him.

“This year is huge because it’s the trail onto Rio,” he added. “Rio is going to be the big one, it’s going to be where everyone is tested and where records and history is going to be made.

“Pressure is something that I thrive on. It’s going to give me the incentive and give me that extra push to be able to train day in, day out, two or three times a day, to be able to catch the guys in front of me.

“It’s just going to make me the best athlete I can be going into Rio and make sure I’m in the best possible place to push for a medal or push for a top five place, which is where I think I’m capable of finishing in the next couple of years, if not better.”

Jonnie Peacock and Hannah Cockroft are BT Ambassadors. BT is a long-term supporter of disability sport in the UK.

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