Beijing-bound racer dreams of 2012 games

BRIAN Alldis will be competing at the Paralympics in Beijing this summer, but he has already set his sights on winning gold at London in four years' time.

BRIAN Alldis will be competing at the Paralympics in Beijing this summer, but he has already set his sights on winning gold at London in four years' time.

The Bury St Edmunds-based wheelchair athlete has been selected for the 800m, 1,500m, 5,000m and marathon in China, a tremendous achievement for a 21-year-old who is still on a learning curve.

Alldis will relish the experience of competing against the best in the world, on the biggest stage, but it is the London Olympics of 2012 where he is targeting medal glory.

“I'll be aged 25 by the time that London comes around, and that's a good age,” explained Alldis.


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“Beijing is going to be a great experience, and I see it as a stepping stone towards London. That's where I want to win gold, over any distance.

“In Beijing, I will be competing on the track in the 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m, and on the roads in the marathon. The training is all the same work, and I regard the 1,500m as my strongest event at the moment.

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“Everyone is worried about air pollution out in Beijing, and I'm no different. But you just have to put up with it, and just go for it.

“I've never been there before, but I attended a training camp in Hong Kong earlier in the year,” added Alldis.

A regular visitor to the West Suffolk Arena track in his home town of Bury, where he trains alongside Saint Edmund Pacers on a Monday night, Allldis can also be spotted clocking up the miles on the nearby roads.

And he also has the benefit of the ideal coach - Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, who won 16 Paralympic medals, including 11 gold medals, during a glittering career..

“She has been my coach for the last three years, although I do all my training on my own,” explained Alldis.

“She lives in Redcar, but we are always in contact, either on the phone or via e-mail. She gives me valuable coaching tips and advice.

“I've been competing seriously for about seven years, starting with the sprints and gradually moving up the distances.

“So far, the highlight of my career has been taking part in the World Championships at Osaka (in Japan) last year. I was seventh in the 1,500m. It was very hot and humid, but the atmosphere in the stadium was great.

“That's why I'm looking forward to more of the same in Beijing, in the impressive new Bird's Nest stadium,” concluded Alldis.

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