[Skip to content]

Search our Site
  • Instagram Icon
  • RSS Icon
  • Twitter Icon
  • Facebook Icon
  • YouTube Icon
UK Athletics
In this section

Beijing Diary – John McFall

Share this

Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Tell friends via WhatsApp Email us


29 August 2008



Sprinter John McFall based in Cardiff is one of the 36 athletes that will represent GB at the Paralympics. This is his third diary building up to the Games starting on 8 September.




Hi everyone,


I’ve made it to Macau


I remember when I last wrote I was about to fly to Germany for a race. That was in Leverkusen at the Bayer meeting, its an able bodied event with races added for disabled athletes so it was a good competition.


I ran the 100m and set a season’s best (12.69 sec) but I wasn’t very happy with the race as I didn’t execute my race as I wanted. I was off balance on my first step on to my prosthesis, so it took about 10-15 metres to recover and I switched off at 15m to go. But all things considered, I was only 0.02 off my personal best set in 2006.


I did plan another race in Switzerland in mid August but that all changed as I had to pull out due to illness, I had a virus which knocked me back for a few weeks.


I would have liked to race again to complete my plan ahead of Beijing, as I’ve not yet run a race that I am happy with, but training has gone well. I know I’m quick but its about translating that to the race situation.


Watching the Olympics


So, what else have I been doing? Well, watching the Olympics of course. I didn’t change my routine too much, but watched more when I was ill and had to rest. I got into the track and field, rowing, cycling and gymnastics, plus a bit of swimming.


It can be emotionally quite draining as you start thinking about your own competition in Beijing and being in the Bird’s nest. I thought the Opening ceremony was an awesome spectacle!


The highlights for me were Christine’s Gold in the 400m and probably some of the gymnastics. My girlfriend was an Olympic gymnast; she competed at Atlanta and was Commonwealth silver medallist in 1994, so it was great to watch another sport with someone who knows everything, I now appreciate how hard they train.


I enjoyed the track and field, Usain Bolt was pretty awesome, but I had mixed feelings overall. Maybe it was because I was thinking that I have still got a job to do at the Paralympics. The stadium looked beautiful, I’m really looking forward to competing in it. I loved seeing the 100m start on TV, it gives you a funny piece of mind.


The last week or so, I have been trying to get back up to speed, since my virus. It has been like balancing a tight rope, with the intensity and volume of training and need for quality recovery. But I know that training smart is the only way.

Leaving home


I was very ready to get out to Macau, so now its great to be actually here. With the Olympics on TV, so many people kept asking me when are you off! It is nice to be back at the Westin resort, I came last year before the IWAS Champs.


About 15 of us arrived yesterday; the journey went well, got a few hours sleep on the plane. I’m ready to get stuck into some quality training now, but need to listen to my body. I’m staying in Macau until 8 September, I’m in the last group to leave and transfer to Beijing, as I don’t compete until 13 September.


Will be in touch again soon.