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KAMlish looking towards lyon

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Sophie Kamlish

11 June 2013

Sophie Kamlish (coach: Rob Ellchuk) has set her sights on a place on the GB & NI team for the IPC World Championships in Lyon at the end of July, after competing at last summer’s Paralympic Games in her first year in the sport.

Kamlish went into the Games as the youngest member of the ParalympicsGB athletics team at the age of 16, but the T44 sprinter admits that age was no barrier to her as she set foot inside the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

“I’m hoping to make the team for the World Championships in Lyon and I’ve got a few international competitions which will hopefully give me the times needed to make the standard and Rio on from that.

“I didn’t worry me too much being so young at the Games, because I’ve always been able to get on with people well. It almost felt like starting a new school because there were a lot of new faces and despite there being 10 years age difference in many cases I seemed to fit in really well.  

“You’d hear the cheers for the other athletes, and yours would be 10 times louder wearing a GB vest. I felt really special, that’s the only way you could describe the feeling.”

The Bath-based athlete finished in fifth in the 100m and sixth in 200m, a year on from winning 200m bronze at the Paralympic World Cup, and Kamlish is surprised by how quickly she’s progressed in the sport.

“It was absolutely amazing and the best thing that I’ve ever done. It happened so quickly as well- I started athletics only a year previous to the Games I definitely didn’t expect to have made London because the target was always going to be Rio.

This year, Kamlish has had to balance her athletics career with studying for her AS Level exams and an injury, which has disrupted her start to 2012. However, the 16 year old is edging her way back to full fitness and is using the success of fellow T44 athlete and London 2012 silver medallist Stef Reid (Rana Reider) to spur her on as she looks ahead to Rio and beyond.

“It was quite tough because in the first term I was doing four subjects and in the end I had to drop one because it was just too much to carry on. Now I’m only doing three, it makes it easier to balance things with the athletics.

“I’ve had bone stress in my foot, so I’ve had to wear a boot but apart from that training has gone well. I’ve competed a few times, not as much as I would have liked because of the injury. But now I’m back competing once a week, so I’m getting there now.

“I don’t like to think of Stef as a rival, but she’s influential as she’s won medals in Beijing and London, so something I’d definitely like to follow in Rio.”

Watch some of the world’s best Paralympic athletes at the Sainsbury’s IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final at the Birmingham Alexander Stadium on Saturday 29 July. For more information, click here