Paralympic medalist dreams of Olympics

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Devine starts to come back in the 800m final (scpgt flickr)

Local Paralympic double bronze medalist David Devine has said that the experience of London 2012 was “surreal” and suggested that one day he could compete in the Olympics.

The 20-year-old runner from West Derby, who came third in both the 800 metres and 1500 metres in the category for those who are partially sighted, also said that gold at the upcoming World Championships in Lyon is a real possibility.

He told JMU Journalism: “Next year I’m going to 1500 metres and 5000 metres, but obviously the 1500 metres is my best event. I took 11 seconds off my personal best in the 1500 metres, so me and my coach have sat down and we’re looking to take another four seconds off it.

“Next year we’ve got the World Championships so that’s the next big one. I love the Paralympics but I’ve got real ambitions to one day compete in a major championships for the able bodied as well.

“Hopefully I can keep improving bit by bit every year and one day I can be in a Paralympics and Olympics as well, but we’ll see.”

Devine described the support that he and many other British athletes experienced during the games as “unbelievable” and that the success of the Olympic athletes previously helped him relax ahead of his own participation.

He said: “Seeing the likes of Mo Farah do well made me happy. It made me realise if they’ve done it then what’s stopping me from performing as well as I can?

“If I had seen all of the GB team do badly I think I could have got a bit too nervous. But after seeing all of the Olympians do well it just calmed me down really and made me look forward to competing.”

Devine said it was a dream come true to go from a good school runner to double Paralympic bronze medalist within four years, and said that he would only have the one medal if it wasn’t for the help from the home crowd, who packed the venues just as much as they did during the Olympics.

He said: “I honestly believe that if it wasn’t a home Paralympics, I wouldn’t have got that medal in the 800 metres because if I didn’t get the response from them I don’t think I would have had the determination to catch him [Lazaro Rashid] on the line.

“I don’t think I’ve competed in front of more than 5,000 people before, so 80,000 was a big shock to the system. It was just unbelievable and performing in front of 80,000 people was just a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It was just brilliant how the British public and everyone around the world took to the Paralympics.”

About Ian Bolland, JMU Journalism