My best and worst moments with the Netherlands’ Marlou van Rhijn

The Dutch T43 sprinter shares the experiences of her career so far. 06 Jul 2016
Upper body of a woman holding a flower bouquet, smiling

Dutch double world champion Marlou van Rhijn speaks about her best and worst career moments.

ⒸMarcus Hartmann

Dutch double world champion Marlou van Rhijn lowered her own 100m T43 world record once again in late May, clocking 12.79 at the IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Nottwil, Switzerland.

Here she describes her best and worst moments on the track:

My best moment

My best moment is still the 200m gold at the 2012 Paralympic Games. It is my biggest achievement so far – it was the biggest medal, at the biggest competition, with the biggest crowd, and just one moment in time. So to do it then was amazing.

Going in to London I didn’t know what to expect as I’d never been to a competition that big before. I was naïve - so very relaxed, and that’s actually very nice because your expectations aren’t that high. You have nothing to lose and everything to win. But I knew that I could go faster, and that if I ran faster then I might get a medal – but I didn’t know anything for sure.

I went hysterical when I realised I’d won. If I look back at it it’s really funny to see how I reacted because I didn’t know I had that in me – I was really, really happy.

My worst moment

That’s a tricky one – but I think it’s every 400m I did so far! It’s a very difficult distance for me – I’m a sprinter so I stop running about 220m! At the 2014 European Championships I tried to be clever – I thought if I have a little bit of a build up towards the end then I would have enough energy to cross the finish line first. But the last 100m had a huge headwind, and I got blown away – literally. My plan didn’t work out; I not only won a bronze medal but I did it in a slow time too.

What did I learn? Not to do a 400m again! I think what I really learned was that I really need to trust myself in every distance that I do. When I go in to a 100m or 200m I think there is no one at the track with more confidence than me, because I believe I can do it. But in the 400m I wasn’t confident enough, and that cost me the gold medal.


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