Berlin experience a worthwhile venture for Parkes despite European Championship disappointment

Yahoo Sport UK

Javaughn Parkes cannot wait to don the British vest once again after the curtain came down on his World Para Athletics European Championships.

No medals were to come the way of the Birmingham athlete but that mattered little in an experience he revelled in in Berlin.

That all came to an end on Saturday with the T36 200m final, finishing in fifth place as a spot on the podium slipped by for an athlete still finding his feet in the world of senior competitions.

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Still aged 21 there is plenty for Parkes to learn but he couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed at crossing the line in 26.41 seconds.

“It was a struggle in the first 50m but after that it was alright. It is a learning curve,” he said.

“I tried to hold my form but hopefully I have got plenty more to come. I just need to practice more in the 200m and do more distance and endurance stuff in training. There is still more to come from me.

“It means a lot to wear the British vest here in Berlin. It has been an amazing experience.

“Fifth again in Europe, hopefully next year I can improve on that and be No.1. it is a learning experience at the end of the day and it means a lot.”

Parkes’ fifth place equalled the effort from the 100m, on that occasion recording a personal best in what was the highlight of the week in Berlin.

Victory in that race went to the retiring Graeme Ballard, a teammate of the Birmingham runner, who bowed out of athletics in Saturday’s 200m race.

And while the 21-year-old was delighted to race alongside a Paralympic, world and European medallist, he wasn’t able to gain bragging rights in his compatriot’s swansong race.

“Graeme retiring gives me an opportunity to put myself forward,” added Parkes, who has cerebral palsy.

“It’s a shame I couldn’t beat him but that is life.”

British Athletics works alongside UK Sport and the National Lottery to support the delivery of success at the world’s most significant sporting events, principally the Olympic and Paralympic Games. They do this via the funded initiative, the World Class Programme, one part of the British Athletics pathway.

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