London Worlds history-making - Hannah Cockroft

Hannah Cockroft
Cockroft won gold in the T34 100m, 400m and 800m at Rio 2016
World Para Athletics Championships
Venue: London Stadium Dates: 14-23 July 2017

The World Para-athletics Championships in London this summer will be "history-making", says Britain's five-time Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft.

The event, held three weeks before the World Championships, begins on 14 July at the London Stadium.

It will be the first time a Para-athletics Worlds will have been held at the same venue and in the same summer as the World Championships.

"We're not the after-show for once," said T34 wheelchair sprinter Cockroft.

She told BBC Sport: "It's a history-maker. It shows that there's a change. People are pushing more towards equality and feel like they're on a level playing field with the able-bodied side. That's really important for us."

Cockroft, 24, won two gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympics and a further three at the Rio Games in 2016.

"For so long we have been pushed to the back and it was getting to that stage where London 2012 came and went and then nothing really happened after Rio 2016, nothing pushed us forward," she said.

"I think London 2017 is that push and will remind people we are here."

Medals or records?

Cockroft, from Halifax, has dominated her classification since winning a 100m and 200m double at the 2011 Worlds.

She has gone on to collect a total of 14 major titles, which could be expanded to 17 after London, and holds the world record in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m.

"It's a home games and I think I have a slight advantage. I know what it's like in front of a home crowd - I can be excited about it rather than nervous and some of the other girls haven't experienced that. I think I've got the upper-hand," she said.

"I'd like there to be world records. I can remember the track from London but I can't remember how it is now.

"World records depend on the weather, the track surface - many things - I just want to know I'm going in the fittest and fastest I can and if world records come with that it will be amazing."

'Situation with Weir and coach is sad'

GB's David Weir
David Weir accused British Athletics wheelchair racing coach Jenni Banks of making remarks that were "belittling" and "hurtful"

Cockroft is coached by Jenni Banks, the Australian whose fall-out with David Weir has seen the six-time Paralympic champion leave the British Athletics setup.

Weir, 38, had said Banks had "belittled" him during the Rio Paralympics.

Cockroft spent the winter training in Banks' native Australia and says she owes a lot to her coach.

"I'm not saying me and Jenni never argue. We have our arguments and issues but I think every coach and athlete have that," she said.

"Jenni's a fantastic coach, she has got me to where I am, and I have a good team around me. I've never had an issue.

"What's going on between Dave and Jenni is sad, but people need to not get involved and just step back."

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