6 November 2019

Familiarity breeds content for Adenegan ahead of World Championships

Right until the starting gun fires at the World Para Athletics Championships, Kare Adenegan will be telling herself: ‘I’ve been here before.’

The 18-year-old is far from a veteran of her sport but is preparing for a third appearance at the Championships and will aim to add to a haul of five global medals in Dubai.

Adenegan holidayed in the United Arab Emirates last summer so the prospect of this week’s showpiece holds no fear whatsoever.

“I’m going to Dubai with a mindset that I’ve been there before and I know what to expect,” said the three-time Paralympic medallist.

“You’re able to perform a lot better when you don’t feel pressured, anxious or overwhelmed by the occasion. I’ve done a worlds, I’ve done a Paralympics and it feels quite normal for me.

“Just going out there last year and acclimatising a bit was really good. We’d actually booked the family holiday before we knew the worlds would be held there, but it ended up being useful.

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I feel really honoured to be named team captain

Kare Adenegan

“At my first worlds in Doha, I was so scared! I look back at videos and when the camera came onto me on the start line, I just looked really scared.

“Now, I just try and smile and just enjoy it.”

Last year was a golden one for the teenager – she broke the T34 100m world record at the Anniversary Games, was crowned European champion and named BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year.

Yet Adenegan believes it is in fact 2017 and the experience of competing at a home World Championships that will stand her in the strongest stead come the crunch.

“London 2017 was such an amazing experience,” she said.

“We all had the support of the majority of the crowd and it was packed every night.

“I still feel kind of new in the sport but it’s actually been seven years and I’m not the new girl any more! Experiences like London help a lot in dealing with the atmosphere and the expectation.”

Five-time Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft joins Adenegan as defending T34 world champion, fuelling hope Britain will dominate the classification once again.

Alongside four-time world champion Richard Whitehead, Adenegan has been named captain of the British team and is the youngest-ever athlete to hold the distinction at the World Championships.

“I feel really honoured to be named team captain alongside Richard,” she said.

“Although I’m still one of the youngest athletes on the team, I have learnt a lot throughout my athletics career so far and hope to pass that on, especially to the debutants.

“We have a really strong team and I’m so excited to cheer everybody on during the championships.”

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