"“You can’t model yourself off Bolt because he’s just a whole different beast."
After racing alongside Usain Bolt earlier this year, Australia’s 100m T42 Paralympic champion Scott Reardon hopes the experience can lead him to record breaking success this summer.
In February Reardon took part in the Nitro Athletics series in Melbourne, Australia, racing alongside the world’s fastest man.
Now, after picking up a few tips from the Jamaican eight-time Olympic gold medallist, Reardon hopes he can take on board some of what he learnt ahead of July’s World Para Athletics Championships in London, Great Britain.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the way he’s able switch from joker to serious in such a short space of time. When he stands on the start line the focus in his eyes is unbelievable and I think that’s what a lot of people can learn about,” said Reardon who is hunting a third successive 100m T42 world title this summer.
“While (Bolt) was warming up and doing starts I was doing starts next to him - you just don’t get that opportunity to watch the best in the world do what they do.
“You can’t model yourself off Bolt because he’s just a whole different beast, but you can see the whole way they go about their business – what they do in their warm up, what they do to stay warm and to stay focused – you pick up those little things to take away and hopefully I can build and implement some of those.”
If he can master that, Reardon believes he has every chance of realising one of his big ambitions – dipping below the 12-second barrier.
“I think it’s there, it’s only marginally faster than what I’ve run before. We are talking a metre further up the track by the time I get to the finish line. It’s not huge; it’s purely down to execution,” said the 26-year-old who won Paralympic silver at London 2012 before going one better at Rio 2016.
“We’ve made some pretty big improvements – we changed blades in the lead up to Rio and I probably took a bigger step back than what I would have liked, but I’ve really mastered the blade now and I think we are on the edge of improving again. I haven’t improved at all really in the last three years so I think I’m due.
“Hopefully I can go one better and put that icing on the cake from my London 2012 experience and make it even better again.”
Reardon will be one of around 1,300 athletes from 100 countries competing at the London 2017 World Para Athletics Championships between 14-23 July. To buy tickets, please click here.