Athletics: Golden aim for Blake

EYES ON GOLD: Paul Blake

EYES ON GOLD: Paul Blake

First published in Local Sport by , Sports Reporter

PAUL Blake is aiming for European glory next week, as he goes for gold at the IPC European Championships in Swansea.

The Paralympic star will compete in the T36 400m in Wales, the event in which he scooped a silver medal at London 2012 and silver when the European Championships were staged in Holland two years ago.

As well as bidding for more glory in the 400m, Blake will also compete in the 100m, as he looks to develop his impressive sprint form.

“Training is going really well, I am stepping down in distance a bit so it should be interesting,” the 24-year-old told Echosport.

The Dorchester athlete competed in the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games at Horse Guards Parade in London last month, and ran a personal best time of 12.46secs in the 100m, triggering his decision to enter the event in Wales.

He added: “I managed to get a pb there which was really good and it gave me a bit of confidence going into the Europeans because I wasn’t quite sure whether to stick to the 400m or go for the 100m as well.

“It was just a case of whether I wanted to do it or not, but to pb in that race gave me a lot of confidence.

“I have never really raced in Swansea but I’ve heard the wind at the track is pretty horrendous, I'll just have to see what the weather brings but hopefully there will be good conditions.“ Blake will kick off with the 100m on Tuesday and then look to seal the 400m crown two days later.

He added: “My 400m training is going really well, it’s just producing what I am doing in training into the race.

“I am hoping I can win the 400m, but a medal would be great.”

And even though he believes his preparations are at an all-time high, the Paralympian is relaxed about his chances of grabbing two more medals to add to his ever-growing collection.

He added: “Hopefully I can get a pb in both events because my training is going just as well as it was going into the Paralympic Games in 2012.

“It would be amazing to win my first European gold medal. Of course I want to win the 400m and the 100m but I don’t like to think like that.

“I just want to do the best that I can do, if I come away with a gold medal that would be great, if I get a minor medal that’s good as well.”

World bronze medallist Holly Neill was also set to compete in the F41 discus and shot put in Swansea, but both events have been cancelled.

Neill finished third in the discus at last year’s World Championships with a throw of 21.54m.

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