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UK Athletics

silver lining for sophie

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Sophie Hahn

21 October 2014

2014 had a silver lining for Sophie Hahn as she won three silver medals in the T38 100m & 400m as well as the T35-38 4x100m relay at the IPC European Championships in Swansea. The 17 year-old world record holder in the T38 100m is preparing for the challenges ahead and has no intention of getting complacent as she reflects on her medal winning season.

The 2013 IPC World T38 100m champion went into the European Championships in Swansea facing tough opposition, most particularly from Margarita Goncharova. The Russian had snatched the world record away from Hahn earlier this year but the Briton hit back twenty-four hours later to claim it back with a 13.04 clocking at the Loughborough International.

“I was very happy before the Europeans to break the 100m world record. It’s the second year in a row where I’ve done this and I’m very pleased with it.”

However, the Charnwood athlete was beaten by her Russian rival on three occasions at the European Championships which she admits surprised her, most particularly in the event which she is world record holder, the 100m.

“The Europeans were a big shock because of the 100m but I suppose you can’t win everything. The Europeans were a learning curve for me.”

However, she took positives from her silver medals in her new events; the 400m, where she recorded a personal best of 67.16, and a British record in the relay alongside Olivia Breen, Bethany Woodward and Jenny McLoughlin.

“I think what topped it off was the 400m and 4x100m relay as they were both new events for me and I never expected to win a medal in them."

Hahn notes that the alterations in her training for the 400m alongside her speed work for the 100m have helped her a great deal this year.

“With the 400m, I have been doing a lot more endurance training and thinking about the tactical side of my racing. I keep doing the speed work for the 100m but making sure I have got the endurance so I can get to that finish line strongly.”

All attention now turns to preparations ahead of the IPC World Championships in Doha next October when Hahn will attempt to retain her 100m title. She is confident that she will be in the best possible shape to beat her rivals in Qatar next year.

“2013 wasn’t a fluke; I know I can perform like that again. I don’t want to sound cocky but I want to win that gold next year (at the IPC World Championships). However, you know when you have five people who want to beat you in the world, you have to step up your game.

“I’m looking forward to Doha - it’s going to be really special. I enjoy running in the heat so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Although the 100m gold medal is the main aim for Hahn, she is also hoping that she can hold onto her world record in 2015. Although she realises that it won’t be easy, she has her own ideas of how far down that world record could go.

“My main goals this year include keeping hold of my world record which I know might be a big ask.”

“I think the world record might go down to 12.9 over the next few years; there are a lot of good athletes in the class.”

The championships will be later than usual next year, as they have moved to October but Hahn is excited at the opportunity to compete on the international stage again as she aims to replicate her success in Lyon 2013.

“October is a bit of a weird month to be competing in but everyone has to do it. I’ll just have to step it up a gear later in the year in 2015.”

You can follow Sophie on her journey to Doha on Twitter here