China’s double Paralympic champion Jianwen Hu is determined to make every race count as he prepares to line-up at the Beijing Grand Prix this week (13-15 May).
The 29-year-old got the better of multiple world and Paralympic champion Evan O’Hanlon at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, smashing the Australian’s 100m T38 world record in the process as he crossed the line in 10.74 seconds.
Hu also won long jump T38 gold at Rio 2016, finishing just five centimetres ahead of his countryman Huanghao Zhong, who also competes in Beijing this week.
As July’s World Para Athletics Championships draw ever closer, Hu knows that there is no time for complacency, and that starts with a winning performance on home soil.
“Every race is very important for the athletes, so we should take it seriously and try our best,” explained Hu, who won all four of the events he took part in at the Beijing Grand Prix last year – the 100m, 200m, 400m and long jump T38.
At the 2015 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, Hu won a hat-trick of gold medals, although he was unable to prove himself against O’Hanlon, who was out injured at the time.
Now there is no doubt whose name will be on everyone’s lips, although Hu, who only made his international debut two years ago, takes any new-found fame and expectation in his stride.
“I got a lot of attention from the media and the public after Rio 2016. In my mind I did not expect so much, my only thought was to try my best.
“I really enjoy the whole process, no matter what the outcome is, I will strain every nerve to run.
“I'm sure this year will be more exciting. All the athletes are training so hard. It will definitely be competitive.”