Olivia Breen talks to us about the IPC World Championships in Doha
We spoke to Olivia about her latest results:
So I have just arrived back from the IPC World Championships in Doha where I took part in three sprint events, the 100m, 200m and 4 X 100m and the long jump. It was a lot of events but there is quite a lot of overlap preparing for all of the events and they were all well spread out.
My first and main event was the 100m. I finished fourth and I was really disappointed. I went into the race in the best shape and the best form I had ever been in. We arrived in Doha almost two weeks before the champs began, to give us a chance to adapt to the intense heat. Unfortunately during my first week in Doha I was suffering with quite a bad cold so couldn't train properly. Fortunately by the week of competition, I was feeling much better and that was the day my personal coach Jonas Dodoo arrived. It was so great to have Jonas at The Aspire Zone (a sporting complex in Doha) with me. He made sure that I was really ready for the race both in body and mind and I was really up for it. My parents also arrived on Wednesday night and it was lovely to have their support.
I was given a really great lane draw with Margarita Goncharova the Paralympic champion in the lane next to me. We were kept a really long time at the starting blocks for some reason, which made me wobble because of my cerebral palsy. I did fight my way back into the race and I was happy with the way I finished in fourth, just beating one of the Australian athletes whose PB is quite a bit faster than mine. However, I did not make it onto the podium which I am so sad about. Also there was an incredible world record set during the race of 12.60 seconds. I did not know that it was possible for a girl with cerebral palsy to run that fast!
The long jump competition was on the Tuesday evening and I was ranked seventh in a very strong field. The gold, silver and bronze medalists from London were all taking part and it was amazing to be part of a competition including so many experienced and talented athletes. After my 100m event on Thursday I did not train the next day and instead spent the day with my parents. It was good to switch off for a while.
A lot of my preparation at this stage was mental, thinking of my runway and how I hit the board and going back over old films of training. The training for the 100m and long jump are quite similar - Both need the explosion of speed on the runway. My runway work this season has been good as I have become faster however my board has not been so good and I have been finding it hard to consistently find the height off the board. Sadly I didn't get the height off the board again but I did jump an official pb of 4 .27m and we will go back over everything again in training and try and get it all to come together. The long jump is quite a hard event for me because you have to concentrate and focus for a long time. It is also very technical and when your co-ordination is not the best so it is hard to get it right.
I wasn't too affected by the heat in Doha - in fact I really liked it! I think my cerebral palsy is actually helped by the heat as my muscles feel more relaxed and there is less injury risk. When I run I don't think about my cerebral palsy and I just love the feeling of speed. In training I have worked really hard with my hands to try and keep them more rigid as when I run my right hand particularly has a tendency to become floppy which then affects my driving. The other time I notice my cerebral palsy is in the blocks. If we are held in the blocks too long I become more wobbly. It is very difficult to hold yourself in the blocks even when you don't have cerebral palsy but even though my core is now much stronger I still become wobbly if held for too long. Also in the 200m people with cerebral palsy tend to have a greater build up of lactic acid which is horrible!!
My third event was the 200m and I think this was my best individual event. I have always loved running the bend and I felt I executed the whole race well. I was delighted with my new strong pb of 28.02 and even though I wasn't on the podium I felt this was my best performance.
The final event was on the last day of the competition and it was the 4 x 100m relay. Relays are really good fun but also incredibly nerve-racking as you just want to get the baton around!! It seems to be a British curse! Amazingly we did it and won a gold medal and set a new World Record by over a second which was incredible and so exciting!! It was a fantastic way to end the championships.
I came over a week ago and I have been taking a break from training which has been great. It has been lovely to catch up with friends and family, eat what I choose and be a normal teenager. It's back to work on Monday though and I have to say I am excited about the training ahead! Winter training is always tough and horrible but I really love it for some crazy reason! It is also now countdown to Rio and it all feels so exciting!
Good Luck Olivia from everyone at Dreams Come True!
Author: Hannah Attenburrow
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