News

Thomas – My Sporting Journey Part 10: The World Games

A Spanish Silver Dream!

The start of August saw my Mum and I fly out to San Cugat, Barcelona in Spain. I had the honour of representing Team CP England at the CPISRA (Cerebral Palsy International Sports & Recreation Association) World Games. I had been selected by Cerebral Palsy Sport, the national disability sports charity responsible for selecting and managing our England team for the Games. Team CP England, was made up of 26 swimmers and 37 athletes -including RaceRunners. We stayed in the team hotel and the day after we arrived I had my international classification again.

  

As part of international competition at my age and because of my hip surgery last year, I went through a medical review classification. This reviewed my impairment and how it impacts on my RaceRunning. Prior to this international Competition I was classified as an RR3 RaceRunning athlete. Following my medical review classification – my international RaceRunning classification changed to a lower classification of RR2.

For the World Games it is customary to have an opening ceremony and it was lovely to take part with the rest of Team CP England. The team spirit and camaraderie in the team was brilliant and it really was a fantastic team to be part of.

  

  

As part of the preparation for the World Games competition we had Team CP England team meetings, briefings and also training sessions on the track to get used to the competition venue over two very hot days.

My first race day was for the 800m and it was a straight final. With the RRR2 classification I was still racing against athletes much older than me but I was really pleased with my race. On paper I should have placed 5thbut I won a World Games Silver medal! I was so pleased and I was so proud to stand on the podium and receive my medal for my country.

    

With my change of classification the plan of four finals changed to having to run heats to try to qualify for the finals for the rest of my distances of 100m, 200m and 400m. The same day of my 800m final, I also had the RR2 male 100m heats. I had a really good race running a PB and qualified for the final later that evening. I ran the 100m final in very wet conditions and a slippy track. On rankings I should have finished 6th but I came in 4thwhich I was pleased with as I’m still not really a sprinter.

On the Friday I had my heats for the 200m. I ran a good race and also qualified for the final. I also had the qualifying heats for the 400m final later that day. I was pleased with the race and qualified for the 400m final.  I ran a solid 200m final and was placed 4th on what was quite a slow track.

  

     

Saturday saw the final day of competition and I raced hard in the 400m final and came 4thagain. I came out to the World Games with the hope of doing my country and family proud and hoped to win a medal. My first World Games ended with a World Silver medal and also ranked Male RR2 Great Britain No 1.

Team CP England had an incredible Games. Our medal target was 40 medals and our athletics and swimming team smashed that target with 100 medals. I’m so proud to have been part of such a special team and we really enjoyed our team and closing Games celebration. It was also lovely to spend time with competitors from other countries and to meet up with some RaceRunning friends from the USA, Denmark and Scotland.

  

 

My world Silver Medal!
My World Silver Medal!

It was so lovely to come to a family celebration but it wasn’t long before I was back in training. I’m now preparing from my last competition of the season which is the Cerebral Palsy Sport National Athletics Championships on Saturday 1stSeptember in Doncaster. I’m really looking forward to it and also the rest afterwards!

I just wanted to say a massive thank you for all the wonderful messages of support during this season and for all the support I have been given. It means so much!

Useful Links:

Thomas’s Sporting Journey, Parts 7, 8 and 9 will follow but I wanted to post the World Games Report now as Thomas has just returned. Keep checking in for the remaining instalments…It is a great and very insightful read into following your dream to be a top athlete.