Borders race ace Samantha Kinghorn setting out for Paralympic success in Tokyo
The enforced wait is almost over for wheelchair race ace Samantha Kinghorn as she prepares for her Paralympic Games quest.
The former double T53 world champion is in Tokyo for the post-Olympics showpiece, which runs from August 24 until September 5.
The Gordon athlete is competing in the T53 100 metres, 400m and 800m, plus the 4 x 100m universal relay.
With the Paralympics subject to the same year-long deferral as the Olympics, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, Sammi, 25, is delighted that the big event is finally here.
"It’s good that it’s definitely set in stone now, instead of ‘maybe, hopefully, hopefully’,” she said. “It's nice to know there's something to aim for and it's going to be really interesting to see who has managed to handle the upset and the change in training conditions, and things like that.”
Ex-Earlston High School pupil Sammi scored a twin world championship win in 2017 and has a host of European wheelchair race records to her credit also, including bronze at the 2019 World Para-Athletics Championships in Dubai. Success in Switzerland earlier this year propelled her to the top of the world rankings.
She has been focusing more on training than racing at her new Cheshire base but enjoyed more success in her most recent race in Coventry before heading over to the Japanese capital.
Sammi added she felt fairly confident as the race days approached. “I feel like I am definitely getting there,” she said.
“I am going to fight my way to get as close to the podium as possible and, obviously, I would love to come away with a medal – any colour of medal, I don’t care which, would be amazing.
"But all I can do is do my best, try and get as close to my pb (personal best) as possible and give my best performance.”
Sammi hoped all the recent success stories and excitement of the Olympics would encourage people to tune in to the Paralympics and enjoy them just as much.
“I think everyone at home has been hoping and just looking for something that’s positive, because everything has been so negative up until now for the last year and a half. I am kind of hoping people will be excited to watch people do well. That's what I have enjoyed in the Olympics – seeing people doing well.”