Stef Reid is a veteran of Paralympic sport but that didn’t stop the Scottish athlete from feeling the nerves of the World Para Athletics European Championships.
That’s because the 33-year-old was embarking on new ground in Berlin, warming up for her favoured long jump event with a stab at the T64 200m final.
It wasn’t to go her way at least in terms of medals, finishing fourth in a time of 29.49 seconds, but the disappoint was minimal for a double Paralympic silver medallist who knows her best is still to come.
“It was nerve racking at the beginning. It was fun, which I guess is a bit of weird definition,” she said.
“We came in looking to try something new, we gave it a try and I am pleased with it.
“It is probably not easing myself into a Championships but we are exploring and trying to find things that work.
“There are a variety of reasons why we choose to start like that, obviously it needs some refinement but it is OK, we can do that.
“We always knew we were going to use this year as a bit of an experiment and exploration. That involves doing uncomfortable things and sometimes you have to dive right in.
“I am much more comfortable in the long jump, which is Sunday. Now that this is out of the way, that is nice, and it will be back to something a little more familiar.”
Also competing in Berlin was Paisley’s Ross Paterson, who fared markedly better with a silver medal in the T38 400m.
Just being on the start line was a revelation for the Scot but, with the 200m still to come, the taste of success is already proving a sweet one after finishing second in 56.82 seconds.
“It’s unbelievable – even just being here is brilliant so I am glad that I went out and put in a performance,” said the 19-year-old who has hemiplegia, which affects the control, coordination and movement of the right hand side of his body.
“I will come back next year even stronger. I knew what it would be like. It was a great race and hopefully I can come back stronger.”
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.