ATHLETICS: Dorchester's Blake to focus on sprinting

TURNING HIS ATTENTIONS: Paul Blake

TURNING HIS ATTENTIONS: Paul Blake

First published in Sport Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

WORLD champion Paul Blake will turn his attention to sprinting this year following the decision to drop the T36 800m from the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.

Dorchester’s Blake won the world title over two laps in Lyon last July following on from his bronze at the London Paralympics in 2012.

However, with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) opting to cut the event, along with several others, from the Rio programme, the 23-year-old is taking on the 200m to boost his chances of striking gold over 400m.

Blake, pictured, finished with a silver medal in the 400m at the last two major championships and going one better in Brazil is now his main long-term goal.

But the IPC’s decision still rankles with Blake, who is set to compete at the first Grand Prix meeting of the season in Dubai next month.

“I’m not a sprinter, I’m a middle distance runner at heart,” he said. “There is a big difference between the 200m and 800m.

“It’s a completely different race. You get a little bit more time to think tactically in the 800m.

“The 200m and 400m is a flat out sprint and you haven’t got time to use any tactics.”

He added: “It’s not so much changing my training, it’s just a different mindset for the event.

“They haven’t got rid of it for the European Championships, they are keeping it in, but because I’m running on my Rio programme I’m only doing the 400m.”

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