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rushgrove sets rio goal

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Ben Rushgrove

17 October 2013

Ben Rushgrove (coach: Rob Ellchuk) has set his targets high as he looks to upgrade the silver medal he won in London by going one better in Rio in three years’ time.

Rushgrove missed out on the medals at this year’s IPC Athletics World Championships, but the 25 year old is determined to bounce back after finishing fifth and sixth in the T36 100m and 200m respectively.

“I want to win a medal at a Rio that’s my target. It’s very hard to say what colour that medal will be or even what time it will take. I think the World Championships really showed how much the world has moved on not just in my classification, but in pretty much every event. 

“Every afternoon in Lyon, you were seeing another world record on the track and field and the Chinese weren’t even there and they’re big in disability sport. That’s what makes it hard to say what times will cut it over the next few years.”

The Bath-based athlete set his 100m personal best two years ago on his way to a silver medal at the IPC World Championships in Christchurch and despite not hitting top form in 2013, he is looking to bounce back and dip below the magic 12 second barrier.  

“My PB is 12.25 and I ran that in 2011 off the back of major knee surgery so that’s the context of that time. It was just a really good race and everything came together even though it was like sticking plasters over a dam to hold it together. For some reason I enjoy that atmosphere of not knowing and that’s part of it.

“I’ve always had the ambition to run a sub-12 100m – it’s kind of the able-bodied distance equivalent of sub-10. It’s almost the holy grail - if you can run a sub-12, you’re going on the all-time list of one of the best T36 athletes ever.”

Despite setting out his targets for the next few years, Rushgrove is keen to reflect back on the time when he started out training with his group in Bath.

“When I first joined Rob’s training group, we sat down in a café and we were having a chat and Rob said to me I don’t know how good you are or where we’re going to end up on this journey but the important thing is to be as good as we can be. That has always stuck with me and something which I look to focus on and being true to yourself. I’ve spoken to a lot of athletes, not in just athletics, and it seems like that is a common theme that dictates through most great athletes the idea of doing your best, trying to be better than someone else.”