London 2017: Hug, Rehm and Greaves speakMedal contenders ready for World Para Athletics Championships. 13 Jul 2017
With just a day to go until the World Para Athletics Championships get underway, we've been speaking to some of the top contenders for medals at London 2017.
Marcel Hug (SUI) - men´s 400m, 800m, 1,500m, 5,000m T54
“After Rio, these championships are the first important step towards Tokyo 2020. It feels so special to come back to this great stadium. After the season last year, I had two months break, what was an exceptional thing for me as normally I take only two – three weeks off. That helped me to take the rest from racing and to find the motivation to the training again. I spent the time at home; I also went for a holiday and worked a bit.”
“It is always amazing to compete at this stadium. I will have a busy programme with four starts. But I like it this way as it keeps me in a competition mood. If I cancel the 400m, I would have three days break which would be too long. I need to continue competing to achieve the best performance.”
“David Weir is finally retired – finally he is gone. No, I am just joking. I saw his last race and it was a nice farewell celebration on the track. We had great years of racing against each other, we pushed each other and the rivalry was great. But I am happy he keeps running marathons and I look forward to our competitions in this event.”
Markus Rehm (GER) - men´s long jump T44
“It was in London, when I participated in my first Paralympics so it is very emotional to come back. I remember the moments well – standing on the top of the podium, listening to the national anthem… My whole family were here. My parents followed me to the competitions my whole life so it was a very special event for them too.”
“Remembering my 8.40 jump in Doha, it felt good. The conditions were great there but I checked the forecast and it also should be good next days here. I feel in shape despite the fact that the season was tough. I had some problems to hit the board properly. But my last competition was 8.19 with a huge reserve before the board, maybe even 20cm. If I hit the board properly, I can go very far and maybe even attack the record.”
Dan Greaves (GBR) - men’s discus F44
“London 2012 was so special, to be back here is phenomenal. I’ve just arrived and the buzz around the place is special.
“It’s amazing how the sport has grown. I did my first world champs in 2002 in France; one man and his dog turned up, so to be back here with record crowds will be great.
“To get a medal here will be phenomenal for me. I was actually on the panel that chose the medal design for these championships so I’ve had a sneek preview. For me, it will also complete the set to win here and be a great way to finish my championships career.
“I’m feeling good. I’ve been consistent this year and I’m in good form. Obviously, Jeremy Campbell and David Blair have been setting the world on fire, but that just shows how far the sport has moved on. I won my first world championships with 49m; that wouldn’t make the top eight this time.