The Paralympic excitement is building for Olivia Breen after marking the Tokyo 2020 two-year countdown with a bronze medal at the World Para Athletics European Championships.
The City of Portsmouth athlete wasn’t even sure if she would make Berlin but she will leave the German city with both a smile and a medal, taking third place in the T38 100m.
A niggle had prevented Breen taking part in her favoured long jump event but, with Tokyo 2020 firmly in her mind, this meet was all about the bigger picture.
“It has been a bit of journey since the Commonwealth Games,” she said.
“I have had a bit of an injury with my knee and that is why I didn’t do the long jump. I have here been for ten days I was saying to myself ‘come on, let’s go’ so I am so happy to finish on a high and get a medal.
“I thought it was best to be safe [doing the 100m and not the long jump] and think about the future. My knee is important for the long jump.
“I am really happy with my start, that was the main thing for me going into the race, and I am so happy to have done it.”
While the World Championships take place next year, not even a trip to Dubai is the main objective for Breen, who first represented ParalympicsGB at London 2012.
That meet brought her a bronze medal but with the 22-year-old now an established part of the British squad, there’s a longing for more in two years’ time.
“I am really excited for the next two years,” added Breen, who has cerebral palsy.
“Within the next month, my coach and I are going to sit down and put a plan together for the next two years and talk about Tokyo. That is the main goal and I am so excited about it all.”
British Athletics works alongside UK Sport and the National Lottery to support the delivery of success at the world’s most significant sporting events, principally the Olympic and Paralympic Games. They do this via the funded initiative, the World Class Programme, one part of the British Athletics pathway.