Italy’s Martina Caironi provides this week’s Best & Worst Moments – in fact, for the 100m T42 world champion, who set a new world record mark of 14.61 on her way to gold in Doha, Qatar, those two moments are actually rolled into one.
The 26-year-old, who also claimed world long jump T42 silver to add to the double gold she won at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships - explains why:
“As far as I remember, the worst moment was also one of the best. I could talk about Paralympic victories or some bad falls during competition, but instead I would like to share a moment when the strength of my will helped me overcome physical exhaustion.
“Straight after the 2013 World Championships, a selected number of athletes, including me, went to the Anniversary Games in London.
“I was really tired from all the hard work that had to be put into the competition both mentally and physically. The night before I was also celebrating with friends and I hadn’t so much time to sleep. I felt feverish and I couldn’t understand exactly what I should do in this state. I remember that I decided to compete at all costs, because it was so important to me.
“I began to warm up without thinking, being so careful not to injure myself and not to forget any stretching exercises. At that moment I really wanted something like chocolate to give me energy but the only thing I could find was a banana given to me by someone from the organisation. I was sure that I was doing something crazy because my head was hurting, but I was also very determined. I couldn’t give up during such a great event!
“I kept my concentration until we entered the stadium for the long jump and I was quite reassured that at that moment adrenaline would have done its job. I couldn’t remember the competition very well, I was just trying to do my best and I wasn’t aware of the good jumps that I was doing. When I came back to the hotel and I saw the results I realised that I did my personal best. Incredible!”