PAUL Blake admits he’s inspired by his rivalry with Russian Evgenii Shvetcov – even if he can’t speak to him about it.
The Dorchester athlete doubled his medal tally at the IPC European Championships yesterday, adding silver in the T36 400m to his bronze in Tuesday’s 100m.
Shvetcov took the gold in both events, and having the Russian outside him in lane eight, Blake admitted he was able to keep tabs on him throughout the race.
Ultimately, 24-year-old Blake, the two-time world champion and double Paralympic medallist from London 2012, could not catch his rival but is vowing to work hard to do so in the future.
“The rivalries, as you could call them, are definitely something that motivates me going into these competitions,” said Blake.
“It’s good to have the competition because it gets the best out of me but also the best out of Shvetcov.
“He doesn’t speak any English at all, so I can’t really speak to him but it’s good to have him here.”
Blake is a tried and tested major championship performer with his silver in the 400m his fourth European medal after the two he picked up in the Netherlands in 2012.
In addition to his two Paralympic medals, he also has five at the World Championships, but Blake is keeping his options open as to whether he will continue doing the shorter sprint in the coming years.
“It’s good to come away with a bronze in the 100m but I’m still not that confident over the distance,” he added.
“I guess the more training that I do on my start will give me more confidence and, depending on my times throughout the season, I may do the 100m at next year’s World Championships in Doha.”
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