14th April 2015

Howe Ready To Set World Alight

14 April 2015 

Injury threatened to derail Jordan Howe’s place on the startline at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, but nearly three years on, world glory is well within his sights.

In what was his senior GB & NI debut, the Welshman was left to rue what might have been after an adductor injury disrupted his build-up to his crowning moment at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. A seventh place followed, but rather than be defined by his injury problems, Howe went through a gruelling 18 month rehabilitation but there was light at the end of the tunnel.

The IPC European Championships in August was his first major championships since the heartache of London and the 19 year old came out and delivered a performance, which left Howe hungry for more. Double sprint bronze was the reward and he admits that there is now more to come with the start of his outdoor season just a matter of weeks away.

Howe, who has cerebral palsy explained: “The injury was frustrating, but it was more frustrating in London because I knew what I could have done if I was fully fit. However, it was just one of those times where athletes do get injured and you’ve got to come back stronger. It’s with big thanks to my physios back home and support from British Athletics that has allowed me to do that and get back to what I do best. 

“Swansea was a massive experience for me. It was my first senior medal and couldn’t believe it at first. I thought to myself I’ve actually done it and it’s good to have under my belt to really push on this year. It was extremely special for me and not just me but my family as well. Being in front of home crowd, competing and medalling at a high level it was a really proud moment.” 

Howe will open his campaign in Cardiff this month, before heading to Alicante for warm weather training and while he admits he will have to go quicker to contend with the likes of Russia’s Dmitrii Safranov and Argentina’s Hernan Barreto, Howe knows he will be ready come Doha and the Paralympic Games in Rio next year.

“I just want to open my season and get my legs underway before going to Spain where I hope to return strong. Hopefully I’ll get selected for the World Championships and hopefully come away with another two medals,” added Howe, who was ranked fourth in the world over 100m in 2014.

“The world level is completely different to the European. I’ve raced against the two fastest people in my classification in the world, but there will be other guys that I will have to watch out for but likewise they have to watch out for me too. People in my class didn’t think I could come to the Europeans and do what I did, so it’s exciting for me and more exciting for them.

“Rio is still over a year away, but if I get there in one piece it will be very interesting. I know if I’m fully fit for the whole year, I’m going to be stronger and hopefully closer to the gold medal.”  

Howe splits his time between his hometown of Cardiff and his regular training base in Loughborough where he joins up with the likes of T42 200m Paralympic champion and world record holder Richard Whitehead, fellow countryman Rhys Jones and coach Keith Antoine twice a week. While his 300 mile round trip is a difficult one, the determined sprinter is prepared to make the necessary sacrifices in order to succeed.

“It is tough, but if it wasn’t for the likes of the National Lottery and British Athletics, I wouldn’t be able to do it. It’s hard because I’m away from my family quite a lot, but I’m not the only one. Not many people get the chance to represent Great Britain, so whatever you’ve got to do to be the best in the world, you have to go with.”

You can follow Jordan on Twitter here