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kamlish in record breaking form 

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3 August 2016 

A two-time Paralympian come September and still only 19, Sophie Kamlish (coach: Rob Ellchuk) has aspirations of a podium place at this summer’s Games.

Kamlish ran at the 2012 Paralympic Games in just her first full competitive year, reaching the final of both the T44 100m (5th place) and 200m (6th) at the tender age of 16.

Four years later, the now 19 year old looks ahead to Rio with an air of confidence when speaking about her capabilities, saying: “2016 has been the best year ever from a performance point of view, I’ve ran sub-14 in every single 100m race so far, which has never happened, so it’s looking good so far.”

Lifetime bests seem to be something of an ordinary feat to the Bath-based athlete this season; a best recording of 13.36 at Rome’s Diamond League meeting back in June was bettered to 13.35 at the IPC Grand Prix final in London, before yet another revision came last weekend, with Kamlish clocking 13.26, extending her British record, at Bedford’s Inter-County Championships to take her second in the T43/44 world rankings over 100m.

Not only will September see Kamlish competing half way round the world in pursuit of silverware, but she’ll also be starting the first year of her illustration and animation degree in London, something she admits has become something of a shadow thought in regards to the big picture of Paralympic selection.

“It’s a bit crazy – because I’m concentrating so much on Rio I haven’t really organised anything or really done much research into where I can train in London at all, so quite frankly I have no idea - I think I’ll be winging everything at a later date.

“I think technically freshers’ week starts the day after the Paralympic closing ceremony, so I’ll probably miss the first couple of days through travelling - hopefully I’ll be able to catch up socially when I’m back.”

Reflecting on whether she thought elite-level sport was something she was bound for, Kamlish revealed that it wasn’t necessarily clear cut that her relationship with athletics would blossom further than the average persons. 

“I’ve always been quite sporty, but being born with congenital abnormalities in both my feet, and becoming an amputee at age nine through choice, I wasn’t particularly thinking of sport in my mind when looking forward – I didn’t really know that blades existed when I got my first prosthetic leg either.”

“I think it really was down to the fact that I lived in Bath and became involved in the Playground to Podium scheme ran by the university, which led to me being spotted and selected for the Paralympic World Cup.”

Just over a year on from the Paralympic World Cup Kamlish ran at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, securing a place on the rostrum as she claimed bronze, her first senior silverware whilst representing Great Britain.

Now an older and more experienced athlete heading into this year’s Paralympic Games, Kamlish acknowledges that to make the final in her discipline four years ago was a notable triumph, although this time around she has ambitions of returning home – be it to Bath or London - with a Paralympic medal she can call her own.

“Looking back [to London] it’s a bit of a mixture of feelings really; as a 16 year old I was so new to the sport and I wasn’t massively aware of a lot of things – the pressure really wasn’t on me at all, I wasn’t on funding, I just had to go out there and make my final, which I did because I was quite relaxed and not really nervous.

“I have a feeling that although now its four years and on, and I’ll be 20 by the time I compete, I’ll put more pressure on myself for sure, but experience wise I’ve raced in a lot of big arenas, so I should be able to cope with the event. The whole excellence of the T43 & T44 category at the moment means the standard will be pretty high though.”

“It would great to be able to medal, I think I’m capable of it but it has to be a case of everything coming together – if the heat and the final are on the same day then it could be tricky, but I feel like a medal is very much possible.”

Sophie will compete in the T44 100m at the Paralympic Games.

The full British team for the Paralympic Games (7-18 September) can be found HERE.