Golden girl, the Gold Coast and a tilt at Commonwealth richesMattioli Woods-sponsored Sammi Kinghorn today enters her final week of training as the clock ticks down to the start of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
With the opening ceremony set to take place tomorrow, the world champion wheelchair racer has her sights set firmly on her first event – the 1500m on April 10.
Just five days later Sammi is set to undertake the gruelling marathon final on the closing day of the games on Australia’s Gold Coast, south of Brisbane.
The 22-year-old and coach Ian Mirfin have been in the country since March 9. They are currently based at a training camp at the Sunshine Coast in southern Queensland.
On Thursday, they are due to transfer to the athletes’ village where Sammi will continue her preparations for her first track appearance of the games.
“Everything has been going extremely well,” reflected Ian Mirfin. “Team Scotland and Scottish Athletics have organised superb training camps”.
For Sammi, the weight of expectation has mounted following her headline-grabbing success at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships in London.
She turned in gold medal winning performances in the 100m and 200m sprint races.
She explains: “In one sense, I don’t feel as much pressure because these (1500m and the marathon) are not my normal events.
“But then in another sense, people are starting to know my name now. They’ve seen me do well in London last year so they expect me to do well all the time”.
Sammi was paralysed below the waist in a freak accident on her father’s farm in the Scottish Borders. She was just 14.
She has been backed by Mattioli Woods since the early days of her athletics career – something her family and Ian Mirfin have never forgotten.
“A thousand thanks to Mattioli Woods who got involved long before she had achieved anything and have remained among her biggest supporters ever since,” says Ian.
*The 1500m event is due to take place Tuesday, April 10 at 20.05 Australian time (11.05am UK time)
The marathon is scheduled for Sunday, April 15 at 6.10am Australian time (Saturday, April 14 at 9.10pm UK time)