While keeping her rivals behind her will be one target at next month’s IPC World Championships, wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft admits taking on the Doha heat will prove equally challenging.
Double Paralympic champion Cockroft will head to Qatar for the 2015 Championships looking to add to the four world titles already in her collection.
A quick glance at the record books would indicate gold is the only currency the 23-year-old deals in having accumulated no fewer than eight senior global titles at Paralympic, World and European level since 2011.
However, she will have to be at her very best in Doha as she looks to defend both the 100m and 200m titles but also claim the title over the longer 800m distance.
There’s also the small matter of the searing Doha heat to combat, with temperatures rising as high as 35 degrees even in October.
However, Cockroft is not one to shy away from a challenge and insists she is eying up a full complement of gold medals next month.
“Being a triple world champion is never something I dreamed of because it was never something on offer,” she said.
“If I could do it, it would be amazing but the amount the competition has stepped up since 2012 is phenomenal.
“It will be a massive challenge both in Doha and then in Rio but I believe I can do it.
“I’m still in good shape, I’m still winning and I’m still top of the world so there’s no reason for me to lose it now.
“I’m really happy with how my preparations are coming along. I don’t know where the other guys are at the moment, I don’t know how fast they are going.
“If I can handle the heat out there I can do well out there
“I’m going to Doha wanting to bring back three gold medals. I know I can do it, I know it’s possible, everyone there is going to be in the same boat as me when it comes to the heat. Whoever manages it the best is going to win.”
Having completed her collection of global gold medals at last year’s European Championships in Swansea, Cockroft could be forgiven for losing a little motivation.
But with Rio less than a year away, she insists that could not be further from the truth.
“I think every athlete goes through a lack of motivation. When you get up, it’s cold and raining and you’ve got a road session to do, it’s not the most appealing and bed is a lot more welcoming,” she added.
“But once I go out there and get in the chair I’m fine – I remember why I love it and want to do it.
“For me it’s easier because I’ve got the gold medals sat in my house and I can go look at them and think ‘this is why I’m doing it’.
“If that doesn’t work then I need to quit racing because nothing is going to work.”
The Sainsbury’s 2015 School Games is supported by a range of partners including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Sport England, Youth Sport Trust, Department of Health and British Paralympic Association. The Games were held in venues across Manchester from 3-6 September 2015. Visit www.2015schoolgames.com for more information.