Powell has sights set on World Championships in Doha


KylePowell - Credit: Archant

Not one to shy away from a challenge, St Albans sprinter Kyle Powell is setting his sights high on the track this year, targeting a spot on the Great Britain team for the IPC World Athletics Championships in Doha.

Powell, who competes in the T45 classification, was in record-breaking form last summer setting European best times on the way to silver in the 100m and 200m at the World Junior Games in Stoke Mandeville. It was by far the biggest international result of the 18-year-old’s career, although he is already eyeing up more this time around.

This October sees Doha play host to the world championships and while he is currently down the pecking order when it comes to the leading sprinters in the world, Powell is determined to give it his best shot.

“I always like to aim big and so the World Championships in Doha is my number one target for this year. You have to set your targets high,” said Powell, who is currently trying to juggle training with completing his studies at Oaklands College.

“It’s a big step going from juniors to senior, going from being a good athlete to one of the best in the world. I know what the qualification times are and I really need to be in the top 10 in the world if I want to be going. The highest I’ve been is probably 18/19th and low 20s. So it’s a bit of an ask but at the same time, a good challenge I am looking forward to.

He added: “The highlight last year was 100 per cent the World Junior Games in Stoke Mandeville. It was really special that it was being in held in that venue and it gave you a real feel for Paralympic sport. To get a silver medal in my first major championships was amazing and actually quite emotional.

“I hope to be competing in the World Junior Games again which will be held in the Netherlands this year. I have been given a place, it just depends if Great Britain send a team.

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“Training has been going really well. It’s a case of just keeping my head down and training as well as doing my studies. It’s my last year at my college so it’s a case of getting that balance right, which can be tough.”

Although Powell is keen to make the breakthrough onto the senior circuit, one memory from his junior days that is still fresh in his mind is that of the Sainsbury’s School Games.

In addition to being the major event series partner of British Athletics, Sainsbury’s sponsors the Schools Games, which sees millions of school children take part in competitive sport each year, with 1,600 young elite athletes competing annually in a high level multi-sport event.

And Powell, who has the full set of medals from the Games having competed in the 100m and 200m for the last two years, hopes the multi-sport experience will prove invaluable for his own Paralympic ambitions.

“It is a good competition for me because it’s with your region and you get to meet a new bunch of athletes and make some new friends, who are not necessarily to do with your sport,” he said.

“It’s good practice for when you come to the big multi-sport events. If you just threw someone into that sort of environment, it would be a bit of shock. “The School Games act as a stepping stone for bigger things in my eyes. I would love to compete at a Paralympic Games and hopefully I can look back on the School Games as the start of that journey.”

Sainsbury’s is a proud partner of British Athletics. The partnership reflects Sainsbury’s wider commitment to inspiring healthy lifestyles for all, and complements grassroots campaigns such as Active Kids and the Sainsbury’s School Games. www.sainsburys.co.uk