Sammi Kinghorn: World Para-athletics sprint champion eyes CWG marathon

Sammi Kinghorn celebrates winning the 100m at the World Para athletics Championships
Kinghorn celebrates winning the 100m at the recent World Para-athletics Championships
Great North CityGames & Great North Run
Venue: Gateshead Date: 9-10 September
Coverage: Live coverage on BBC One, plus live text commentary on BBC Sport website and app

Britain's double World Para-athletics sprint champion Sammi Kinghorn will switch to the road in Sunday's Great North Run in preparation for a tilt at the 2018 Commonwealth Games marathon.

The Scottish wheelchair racer won golds in the T53 100m and 200m, and bronze in the 400m, in London in July.

But with only the marathon and 1500m in the Para programme at next year's Games, Kinghorn is changing tack.

"It's a big change moving from track to the road," said the 21-year-old.

"I've not done a marathon before at all so the Great North Run is a half (13.1 miles) and that's a good place to start.

"I want to see first if I can do the half and then we plan to try the Chicago Marathon (on 8 October).

"We have the Great Scottish Run (10K) in between (on 1 October) and will fly to America on the Monday after the race in Glasgow. I'm then hooking up with some USA wheelchair athletes in Illinois prior to the race in Chicago.

"It's like any endurance athlete, really, you have to do the training for longer distances. I've routes at Glasgow Green that I can use with the chair and for some of the even longer ones I use roads back home in the Borders.

"I have done 16 and 17 miles but it is hard work for sure."

Sammi Kinghorn shows off her World Para-athletics Championships medals
Kinghorn shows off her haul of London sprint medals ahead of her switch to the road

Kinghorn, who is paralysed from the waist down after an accident at her home in 2010, announced herself as the top T53 sprinter in the world in London, where she also finished fifth in the 800m.

"If doing the marathon means I can race for Scotland, in that vest, at a Commonwealth Games again, then I will do it," added Kinghorn, who competed at Glasgow 2014 as an 18-year-old.

"The schedule for Gold Coast set up by the event organisers doesn't have my track events apart from 1500m; none of the shorter events from London 2017 - 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m - are in the programme. The marathon is in the programme, so I feel I have to give it a try.

"Basically, unless something goes badly wrong for me in Chicago, and I do manage to get around, then I'll be all set for the 1500m and marathon on the Gold Coast.

"I don't know all that much about the opposition in terms of the marathon, so there's a learning curve to come. We will have to wait and see on times and so on but I would like to get under the two-hour mark."

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