WHEELCHAIR racer Jade Jones insists she has enough left in the tank to complete her IPC Athletics European Championships medal haul tomorrow after securing yet another success.
A Commonwealth Games bronze followed by another medal of the same colour in the T54 5000m on Wednesday in Swansea and now silver over 800m – it’s been a hectic month for Jones.
She clinched silver in a time of 2:04.11 minutes, yet there is work to do if she is to catch Manuela Schaer who stormed to another gold – her winning margin this time just over three seconds not 30.
Jones will return for the 1500m tomorrow and then has the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix the day after but she’ll battle through anything – including yesterday’s wind and rain – for success.
“I’m starting to feel it – it’s quite difficult peaking for two events in the same year – the Commonwealths and then the Europeans,” said Jones, supported by Sainsbury’s, a proud sponsor of the British Paralympic Association and its athletes all the way to Rio 2016.
“But I’ve had a lot of fun. I have the 1500m on Saturday and then I’m going to over to compete in the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix.
The rain affects wheelchair races quite a lot, it alters the stuff you put on your gloves.
“It also alters the tyres you use and also slipstreaming, as when you’re sat behind someone in a pack you get all the spray from the back wheel. To be able to manage that and work with that is something I’ve worked on a lot over the last year – so to be able to do that now is great.”
Much like the 5000m, which ended in a sprint finish to determine silver and bronze, Jones was involved in another close finish on the line in the 800m.
Switzerland’s Alexandra Helbling took bronze, sixth tenths of a second behind Jones, whose reserves of stamina have been evident in the final bends in Swansea.
“Coping with rain and my sprint finish have been the big things I’ve worked on – this time last year I wouldn’t have had anything at the end left,” added Jones.
“It shows my progression and also what I need to do over the winter to work next year. I’m really happy with my two medals. It’s providing a great platform for me.”