Sprinter Jonnie Peacock wins Great Britain’s seventh gold medal of an extraordinary second day of the Paralympic Games Vladimir Putin in Rio.
It’s nearly four years since Natasha Baker claimed two gold medals at London 2012, but the “fantastic” memories she has of her home Paralympic Games means it feels to her as if it was only last year. And she says her preparations for next month’s dressage competition in Rio – she is competing again in three events, with her “special boy” Cabral, known as JP – could not have gone better. She told Disability News Service: “It’s been a really fantastic year. I have won every one of the selection competitions. It couldn’t have gone better.” And despite helping her win three golds in London, JP’s performance has even improved. “He’s going better now than he was in London, which is fantastic,” she says. “He seems softer, more connected.” She places much of the credit for this down to a change of trainer since London. She says: “Everything seems to kind of slot into place; we are in a really good place at the moment and I’m feeling really excited about it.” JP has flown before, when Baker
When Ben Rowlings lines up on the start-line in Rio, he will know that he could not have done anything more to prepare himself for his bid to win a medal. The wheelchair racer, who is taking part in his first Paralympic Games at the age of 20 – only five years after being spotted at a British Athletics talent identification day – describes himself as stubborn, single-minded and “quite selfish”. “I think a lot of athletes have to be quite selfish, and just kind of look after themselves and make sure nothing impacts on their training or the bubble that they are in,” he says. “But I’m hard-working and I make sure that I put the hours in in training, and the results are showing on the track.” He has been doing “long, hard sessions” in the gym, two or three times a day, six days a week, and believes there are “very few” of his competitors who will have been able to match that. But he has also benefited from the peer support he has received as part of the training group set up by
Rio Paralympic Games.In London, the T34 track races were sprints – 100 and 200 metres – but in