Combining sprinting and cycling is paying off for the Paralympic champion
Kadeena Cox says a trio of medals is her target and she feels ready to “do something pretty special” at the World Para Athletics Championships in London.
The 26-year-old last year became the first British athlete since 1984 to gain golds in two different sports at a single Paralympics when she won the T38 400m in a world record after success in the cycling C4-5 500m time trial.
The Brian Scobie-coached sprinter also claimed 100m bronze and T35-38 4x100m silver in Brazil and has her eye on podium places in the 100m, 200m and her favoured 400m in London in the coming days.
“I’m ahead of where I thought I’d be and my targets are moving forward and forward and forward,” says Cox, who first competes in the T38 200m on Saturday (July 15).
“I’m feeling really positive. With it being a home crowd I’m hoping they can push me on.”
While 2016 saw Cox juggle sprinting and cycling, athletics has been her focus this year. That might sound advantageous ahead of a major track and field championships, but Cox admits she has missed the bike training.
“It has actually been quite tricky,” she says. “I have struggled not being on the bike and we ended up putting in quite a lot of Wattbike sessions. You’d think that being able to focus on the one sport would be easier.
“I’m an anomaly because technically they shouldn’t work together but for me they do,” she adds. “I’d like to try and continue it for as long as I can because I really enjoy doing both. They complement each other and mentally I find it quite refreshing to do both.”
It was in 2014 that the talented sprinter had a stroke and a further diagnosis of multiple sclerosis changed the course of the Sale Harrier’s career.
Her first global gold came at the 2015 World Championships in Doha, where she won the 100m. Her impressive current medal haul was reduced temporarily last month after two golds were stolen from her car but to the sprinter’s relief they were later handed in at a police station following an appeal on social media.
“I was gutted,” she says, explaining her emotion after the theft. “But I had to put it to the back of my mind because I knew I had to focus on preparing myself to get the next medals.
“It’s going to be hard to take gold in the 100m and the 200m but I definitely think I can be up there in the medals for all three.
“If I walk away with three medals I’ll be happy, as long as one of them is gold!”
» Make sure you are there to #fillthestadium when the world’s best athletes return to London for the World Para Athletics Championships 14-23 July. £10 adult and £5 children’s tickets available across all 16 sessions at tickets.london2017athletics.com