The competition experience…Dubai 2019 World Championships
It wasn’t easy. So many situations arose during the competition, so on top of nursing an injury through the longest season of my life, it all came down to that last jump …
The last 18 months of my life had been gearing up for that one moment, that one time to shine. The World Championships 2019 were hosted in Dubai in the extremely late month of November, where most athletes have finished their season, had a break and are a couple months into their winter training already preparing for the next season. As I sat there in Goa, India reflecting on the competition on my post season holiday, I embrace that it very nearly didn’t happen as I was hoping and planning for. In fact, I realise that it all came down to a single moment of triumph, where I pushed past the imminent self doubt and achieved what I was capable of.
By no means do I wish to dampen all the hard work and effort that went into hosting a Para World Championships, however there were many elements of the championships which didn’t quite live up to the legacy London 2012 was able to create. We seem to have bypassed that the removal of medal ceremonies from the stadium, in front of the supporting crowd, is not what the athletes or supporters want. To top it off, the rising flags to mark the medal winners achievements being set on a flat screen TV did create a sense of an anti-climax to the moment we had all worked so hard for.
We are blessed in the UK to have officials with good quality training and experience which keeps our competitions running smoothly. Out in Dubai, many of the officials, through no fault of their own, were seemingly unaware of the rules of play. This coupled with a hugely egotistical approach to their new found positions made this competition extremely difficult to navigate.
However, we had a World Championships which went ahead and produced some incredible performances all round for the British team. For that, I am thankful.
I learnt a lot during that competition. I learnt that I have to be mentally prepared for any eventuality. This is not a surprise to me, I have been in this situation before, but the lack of competitions leading up to the World Championships (due to the rehab journey from my injury) certainly left me out of practice and it took everything I had to calm myself to successfully jump over the winning height. I had two 3rd attempts during that competition, with the second one being the defining jump to win gold.
Now, nearly 2 years on from my injury, I am in a much better starting position to build into Tokyo 2020. This is my chance to fulfil my potential. I am not past it by any means and feel ready to get this show on the road for the second Paralympics of my career.