Aussie joy, lockdown misery & flying again

Last Updated: 16/09/20 10:51pm

Samantha Kinghorn is back on the track after a busy time on the farm!
Samantha Kinghorn is back on the track after a busy time on the farm!

A stunning few weeks Down under, six months of solitary training, raising a sheep called Ruby and now the Tokyo dreams are back on track after wrapping up the season in glorious style.

Wheelchair sprinter and Sky Sports Scholar Samantha Kinghorn opens up on a hugely challenging year…


“I had a great day racing in Stoke Mandeville at the weekend to finish the season at the British Wheelchair Athletic Association Grand Prix.

The track always means so much as it was the first track I ever pushed a racing chair on.

It was great to wrap it all up on a high with two world lead times in the 100 and 200. Plus to clock 16.29 seconds in the 100m was amazing – it’s the fastest time I’ve done for three years. That makes me so happy to see that speed coming back to me.

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Samantha says it’s been tough training on her own, but the dream of a podium finish in Tokyo has kept her motivated
Samantha says it’s been tough training on her own, but the dream of a podium finish in Tokyo has kept her motivated

It excites me as I know where I am and what I have to do to be better, faster and stronger for next year.

But looking back a few months, here’s the honest truth on how lockdown has affected me…

At the start of 2020, I was bringing in the bells for the New Year with all my friends and family saying how this year could change my life!

I took the leap and went to Australia to train for a month – something I thought would give me the best possible chance to being my very best at the Paralympics. I came home feeling very fast sharp and educated.

I’d decided what competitions I was going to do. I had my life planned from January to September and it was all set out so that I could excel at the Paralympic and I had my eye on my first Paralympic medal and I actually believed In myself.

Then the coronavirus happened… lockdown!

Samantha has been training hard for athletics and her sheep rearing!
Samantha has been training hard for athletics and her sheep rearing!

I moved back in with my mum and dad as everything was shut and I felt very alone and scared at times! I was very lucky that I had a gym at my parents but my biggest fear was not being able to go on a track for four months and I was worried about when I’d be able to compete and if I would manage to keep myself motivated.

What happened?!

I trained every day just like usual. I managed to get personal best in dips and bench which was amazing. I started a painting by numbers and my dad gave me a pet lamb to look after which I really felt gave me some purpose.

Her name is Ruby I had a little red jumper made for her and I feed her through the night. She’s now six months old, she knows her name and comes for walks with me.

Things are starting to settle down which I’m so thankful for. I was feeling nervous to race but I was also so very excited to race as I truly believe it’s what I was born to do.

This year wasn’t the year I planned for but I trained hard, brought up a lamb and laughed with my family. I feel ready to really push myself on the track now and show everyone how strong I am.

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Soggy in Switzerland and wheelchair issues at the British Championships but sprinter Samantha Kinghorn is just buzzing to be racing again
Soggy in Switzerland and wheelchair issues at the British Championships but sprinter Samantha Kinghorn is just buzzing to be racing again

Since competing was eased back in, I’ve had two race meetings with only one more left to go…

The first meet was in Switzerland which is one of my favourite countries to compete in. Unfortunately for me the weather was well and truly against me. It rained all day making the track like a swimming pool and a nice 3m head wind for my 100m!

I punctured a wheel in my 800m which meant I didn’t manage to finish the race but despite the horrific weather I had a very promising weekend with good pushing and I left feeling very happy.

Next up was the British Championships in Manchester. I know I’m still a young athlete and although I have a world record to my name I am still learning and unfortunately this showed in Manchester. I had a problem with the steering on my chair meaning I struggled to push as fast as I’d like around the bend. My chair was just trying to leave its lane!

It wasn’t great but I learned from that whole experience and that’s what really matters at these events.

Source : Sky Sports