The true highlight of the Loughborough University International was Sophie Hahn’s WR for T 38 Class. After reading Stuart Weir’s comments on the fine performance, you will understand why Stuart calls it the highlight of the meeting.
Sophie Hahn set a new World record of 12.49 in the T 38 class at the Loughborough International Athletics event on 21 May. I asked her afterwards if she was expecting to run that fast. She said “No, not at all. It came as a compete shock but the conditions were perfect”. She added later: “I’m speechless! I just can’t believe it – I’m over the moon. The crowd reaction was fantastic. Training’s going really well and I’ve been working very hard on my blocks, but I still can’t believe that. Marlou [van Rhijn] was my biggest threat as I know she’s a good starter, so I was just thinking ‘keep relaxed, keep pumping your arms and hopefully she won’t catch you’. She’s a fantastic athlete so I’m really pleased.
“I hope there’s more to come but I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I’m just going to keep working hard ahead of the World Championships in London in two months’ time.”
What made the race different – and more interesting – is that the field contained amputees (T43, T44 and T46) as well as athletes with cerebral palsy (T35, T37 and T38). In fact there were seven athletes with six different classifications and it worked well. Sophie liked the format: “I think it is good because Marlou is very quick and very quick out of the blocks. It makes it more exciting to watch”