Swiss wheelchair racer and seven-time world champion Marcel Hug clinched his second marathon World Cup victory in London, Great Britain, in April – adding to his win on the streets of Boston just six days earlier.
With the focus now turned to the track and to Paralympic glory, Hug travels to Brazil next week for the IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Rio de Janeiro, which takes place from 18-21 May. He will then head back to Switzerland to compete in his home Grand Prix in Nottwil between 26-29 May.
Here Hug – who is aiming for his first Paralympic gold medal in Brazil this year - reveals the highs and lows of previous Paralympic Games.
My Best Moment
One of the best moments for me was when I won bronze at the Paralympic Games in Athens in 2004. It was absolutely unexpected, I was only 18-years-old and nobody expected that I would win a medal.
The moment when I crossed the finish line and realised that I had won a medal was really special. I felt very happy - I didn’t know exactly what had happened, but I knew it was something really special. I hadn’t even expected to win a medal.
After that, I was definitely motivated to keep working harder. Before I was one of the hunting athletes – then suddenly it changed and I was one of the hunted. I was really hungry for more.
My Worst Moment
I think one of the worst was in Beijing at the Paralympic Games in 2008. I had no medal there, and I remember the last competition was the marathon. I was in the leading group and only a few hundred metres from the finish, just in front of the stadium.
I made a mistake – I went to overtake someone and there was not enough space, so I caused a crash - I think it was with Masazumi Soejima. Both of us crashed, maybe about 800m before the end. I couldn’t finish the race, my Games were over.
It was very difficult afterwards because I felt very sorry for Soejima. I talked with the Japanese coach to say sorry; it was very sad.
Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).
The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.
Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.