Keiichi Kimura believes the home crowd will give him extra-strength to win the first Paralympic gold in his career when he dives into the pool at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Last year, the 26-year-old took two silvers and two bronze in at Rio 2016, leaving the class S11 swimmer hungry for more.
“I regret not winning gold at the 2016 Paralympics,” he said. In 2015, Kimura had enjoyed a glittering performance at the Glasgow 2015 World Championships, winning two golds, one silver and one bronze. But he could not repeat such feat in Rio.
“I will continue feeling a bit disappointed in the future, but looking back I know I should allow myself to feel proud for what I achieved in Rio.”
Looking ahead, Kimura is hoping to once again stand on top of the podium at the Worlds in Mexico City, set to take place from 30 September-6 October. But the Japanese knows his mind is, although unconsciously, focused on what is coming in three-years-time.
“I imagine myself winning my first Paralympic gold at Tokyo 2020,” he said. “I think I will have a strong pressure on my shoulders from competing in front of my people, which I have never experienced. But I hope to enjoy, be happy and lucky.”
Kimura also highlights the importance the Paralympics will have in making of Japan a more inclusive country. “Thanks to the Paralympics, people with impairment in the country will gain in self-confidence and be included even more within society,” he said.
“I really hope both Olympic and Paralympic Games are a success.”
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will take place between 25 August-6 September. More information is available on Tokyo 2020’s website.