YORK­SHIRE PRIDE

The se­cret be­hind Han­nah Cock­roft’s re­turn to top step of the podium

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FRONT PAGE - ROSS LAW­SON

CHANGE has proven as good as a rest for Han­nah Cock­roft but the York­shire wheel­chair racer be­lieves her fo­cus is fi­nally back on track.

Cock­roft has spent 2018 di­vulging into new ar­eas of her life, with a crash course in TV pre­sent­ing see­ing her on the screens of BBC’s Coun­try­file.

This week saw her back in the fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory of the ath­let­ics track how­ever, end­ing her time in Ber­lin with World Para-Ath­let­ics Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship gold.

She was made to work hard for her T34 800m prize as team-mate Kare Adene­gan pushed her all the way but Cock­roft held on, aveng­ing her fel­low Brit’s suc­cess ear­lier in the week.

Satur­day marked the two-year count­down un­til the Tokyo 2020 Par­a­lympic Games, with many choos­ing now as the time to ramp up prepa­ra­tion.

But the 26-year-old feels it’s her time pur­su­ing other ven­tures that has helped the five-time Par­a­lympic cham­pion re­tune with her love of the sport.

“I never pic­tured my­self go­ing dol­phin hunt­ing, clay pi­geon hunt­ing and what­ever else I’ve done, but I’m re­ally en­joy­ing th­ese things,” she said.

“I’ve just tried to be a nor­mal per­son a bit more, say­ing yes to things and re­lax­ing a bit.

“Each year for the past six years it’s been about this gold and that world record and it gets quite repet­i­tive, it be­comes hard work and it’s been nice to step away with that and re­alise how much I do love ath­let­ics.

“It’s al­lowed me to grow, my friends can un­der­stand my life a bit more and I can un­der­stand theirs.

“To get this gold is nice but I thought it would be a lot more sat­is­fy­ing than it was.

“It is an­other sea­son’s slow­est time and I have done a lot of those at th­ese Cham­pi­onships, which is not what I came here to do.”

HAN­NAH COCK­ROFT: Drapes her­self in a York­shire flag af­ter vic­tory in Ber­lin.

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