“I thought that he was more of a 200m runner, but he has proved us all wrong. Felix runs a personal best just about every time he touches the track in the 100m."
The USA’s 100m T44 world record holder Richard Browne has tipped German newcomer Felix Streng to be a medal contender at the 2014 IPC Athletics European Championships which open on Monday (18 August) in Swansea, Great Britain.
In his first full season on the circuit, 19-year-old Streng has had a season to remember with a flurry of impressive performances that have seen him regularly obliterate his personal best over 100m and 200m.
At May’s IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Grosseto, Italy, Streng announced himself on to the world stage by beating the USA’s world champion Jarryd Wallace over 200m to send out a warning to his rivals. Soon after, he posted a European lead time of 22.40 at a meeting in Manchester, Great Britain.
Browne is full of praise for his rival, especially after he pushed him all the way over 100m at a meeting in Paris, France, earlier this year.
“The youngster Felix from Germany is a great prospect for the future,” said Browne who will race in Sunday’s (24 August) IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final in Birmingham, Great Britain. “He is coming on strong and he nearly beat me in Paris, he almost ran me down.”
Although Streng is currently ranked second in Europe over 100m, Browne is tipping Jonnie Peacock, the Paralympic and world champion, for glory in Tuesday’s (19 August) 100m T44 European final in Swansea.
“I don’t know if he has quite improved enough to surprise Jonnie this early in his career to be honest,” said Browne. “But most definitely, we have to look for him next year and going into Rio. I have seen him blossom since the indoor season. He has become such a good 100m runner.
“I thought that he was more of a 200m runner, but he has proved us all wrong. Felix runs a personal best just about every time he touches the track in the 100m.
“In his last three races, he’s gone from 11.4, to 11.37, now into 11.35. They might be small improvements, but if every time you run, you set a PB, that is amazing for an athlete.”
Alongside Streng, there are a number of other youngsters coming through ready to make their mark and Browne believes that the level of competition is testament to the growth of Paralympic sport.
He said: “I think we are in the golden age because you have the top two or three of us, but then the sport is growing so much with the younger guys coming up, that any day we could have a major upset.
“I know at the US nationals, we have 15 or 16 year-olds winning races. It is crazy just to see how much the sport has come since 2012. I know in 2008, 11.3 won a gold medal. Now, I am pretty sure 11.3 won’t even get you into the final.”
The 2014 IPC Athletics European Championships run from the 18-23 August and Streng will line-up in the 100m T43/44 final on Tuesday starting at 16:27 local time.
The event will be streamed live, together with live results, at the event website.
The live stream from Swansea 2014, together with videos on demand of individual races, are available to embed on websites in some territories via the IPC’s YouTube channel. For further information please contact IPC Digital Media Manager Natalia Dannenberg-Spreier.
In addition, HD quality broadcast footage from Swansea 2014 is available from the IPC’s Broadcast Manager Jose Manuel Dominguez.
Daily highlights will be available for digital channels via Omnisport, whilst individual races as video on demand can be embedded via Perform’s e-player.