Shropshire wheelchair racer Ben Rowlings looking to enjoy European Championships

With nerves quashed and the first race under his belt, all Shropshire’s Ben Rowlings wants to do is enjoy the rest of his World Para Athletics European Championships.

Ben Rowlings (Photo: Ben Booth Photography)
Ben Rowlings (Photo: Ben Booth Photography)

The wheelchair racer got his campaign under way in Berlin on Wednesday with the T34 100m final, bidding for a confidence-boosting start to his week.

A place on the podium wasn’t to come his way after finishing fourth but in truth this was all about what’s to come for the 22-year-old.

A time of 17.00 seconds wasn’t one to be snubbed but it is efforts over longer distances that are dominating his mind, starting with Thursday’s T34 400m.

“I entered it just to see what the stadium would be like and go through the process. I know it is not my strongest event,” he said.

“It was a free hit if you like. If I got anything it was always going to be a bonus.

“I am glad to get the first one out of the way. The first one is always a bit nerve-wracking. I was a little bit nervous on the line but I am a lot closer to those guys than I was last year.

“To be within a couple of tenths of a second, that can only play into my hands going into the longer stuff.”

Improvements have certainly coming Rowlings’ way over the past year, looking to add to the four European medals he has accrued at his past two events.

With his favoured 400m and 800m still to come he is in good place to do so, even with a busy schedule to contend with in the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark.

But with changes both in performance and location this, after all, is what Rowlings has been training for.

“I am definitely a lot stronger,” added the Shrewsbury-born athlete, who has cerebral palsy.

“We have made a lot of changes this year. I have moved up to Scotland, changed coaches and it takes time to settle in and see the full benefit.

“I am feeling strong and I am bettered suited to the 400m and 800m so we are going to have to see what happens.

“I came through the 100m well and that bodes well for what’s to come.”

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.

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