Usain Bolt and Elaine Thompson lead Jamaican squad, while a 132-strong American team has been named for the IAAF World Championships
Sophie Hahn hopes for moreJuly 15, 2017
The sprint talent has already achieved great success but says London 2017 is going to be “extra special”
Sophie Hahn believes that “something very exciting is going to happen” when she competes at the World Para Athletics Championships in London.
The 20-year-old won T38 100m gold on her senior international debut at the 2013 World Championships in Lyon – breaking the world record in the process. She retained that title in Doha two years later and is now going for a third world 100m gold on home soil.
“The past four years have been incredible and I’ve got a great team behind me,” says Hahn. “I feel like my winter training has gone exceptionally well. I feel a lot stronger and a lot quicker.”
In London the Charnwood athlete, who has cerebral palsy, will contest both the 100m and 200m and she has already improved the T38 world records in both of those events this season, clocking 12.49 and 26.20 respectively.
“It has been a pretty good start!” Hahn agrees. “I cannot believe I’ve broken the world record in the 100m and 200m. I’m very excited about London.
“If I had to give you a number out of 10, it would possibly be 11 or 12 how excited I am right now!”
Hahn was inspired to take up the sport after watching athletes such as Hannah Cockroft, Jonnie Peacock and Richard Whitehead at the London 2012 Paralympics.
Since then, in addition to her two world 100m gold medals, the sprinter has added a Rio Paralympic 100m title and two world 200m silver medals to her haul, plus numerous European and relay medals.
“I can’t believe, from watching in 2012, that four years later I’d be going to a Paralympic Games and winning a gold medal and then be selected for a home World Championships – it’s just crazy, really!” she smiles.
On her hopes for London 2017, she adds: “I’d love to retain my title in the 100m, that would be incredible. I’d love to win the 200m but I’ve never won the 200m before so I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself.
“I’m just going to go out there, enjoy it, soak up the atmosphere and see what happens.
“Doha was incredible, Lyon was incredible but London is going to be extra special.”
» The 2017 World Para Athletics Championships from July 14-23 and the IAAF World Championships from August 4-13 will bring together 3300 athletes from more than 200 countries. It will be the first time the two events will be hosted by the same city in the same summer. Buy tickets at paraathleticschampionships.com and iaafworldchampionships.com