World Champion Kinghorn proud to represent Scotland

Published

2018 commonwealth

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Sam Tonks
Writer

Wheelchair racer Sammi Kinghorn achieved a dream when she became a double world champion at London Stadium last year, but 2018 brings new competition and fresh challenges.

The Scottish para-athlete says she still gets a thrill of holding the title as world champion, but the hard work continues with the Commonwealth Games around the corner.

“It is obviously a thrill to be a world champion and the experience was fantastic,” she said. “I have had more attention since London which is generally a good thing too.

“I’m looking forward to the Games, it’s the only real opportunity to represent Scotland in a multi-sport games setting.”

Kinghorn ruled the track in the T53 100m and 200m and has felt the buzz around para-athletics, something that was evident at last summer’s IPC Para-Athletic World Championships.

“Para-sport has certainly blossomed in the UK since London 2012,” said Kinghorn. “Para-sport is evolving and standards are rising all the time which is always a good thing.”

Securing her first global titles, she proved herself as a superb sprinter, so why has she moved to the 1500m and Marathon at this year’s Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast?

“My coach made me, they’re the only events open to me at the Commonwealth Games,” she said. “1500m and marathon are the only events open to me and I really want to be there representing Scotland.”

Kinghorn is now one of Scotland’s most experienced para-athletes after she was an athlete ambassador for the 2014 Games, where she placed fifth in the 1500m final. The 22-year-old was also named Glasgow’s Disabled Athlete of the Year in 2014.

With the momentum of a double gold world championships, she sets her sights on completing another dream and taking a medal home for her country of birth.

“It’s different being a part of the Scottish team as opposed to GB but it is a huge honour, it’s a privilege to represent both, when I am lucky enough to have the opportunity,” said Kinghorn. “I don’t feel any additional pressure for the Games, as I am not competing in my usual sprint event, there’s no expectation on me.”

The Glaswegian had a break from competition early this year but is now ready for events Down Under.