On track in a last push for double golds – Kadeena Cox

Kadeena Cox will be competing in two separate disciplines – on the Rio athletics track and in the velodrome. With two 2016 world records already, it means she could become the first Briton since the 1980s to wind medals in two separate sports at one Games.  

"You've just got to keep battling on," says Kadeena Cox, as she discusses final preparations with her coach ahead of the Rio Paralympics which begin in September.

The MMU student, who is from Leeds and is about to head to the final training camp based at the Newport velodrome in South Wales, will be competing for Team GB in two separate disciplines: track sprinting (100m, 400m and 4 x 100m relay) and the 500m indoor cycling time trial.

She already holds two world records – in her cycling discipline, which she set when she won gold at this year's UCI Para-cycling World Championships in March, as well as the T37 100m record she set earlier this year. 

"It's pretty tough," she tells The Northern Quota.

"It's just about getting the balance. There are times that I can't focus as much on some of the technical aspects as I'd like to because I've got to put in the training for other stuff.

"So it has been tricky, but as of now it's working quite well, I guess. So I'll just keep doing what I'm doing."

Kadeena (25) is attempting to become the first Briton since the 1980s to win medals in two sports at the same Games. She competed as an able-bodied sprinter until stroke-like symptoms in 2014 led to her being diagnosed with MS.

For the Rio Games, she will be competing in the T38 althetics and C4/C5 track cycling.

She faces a dauntingly tight schedule of events once she arrives, with the 100m heats on 08 September; 100m finals the following day; the 500m time trial on 10 September, and then the 400m competition and 4 x 100m relay over the following three days.

"So good recovery between each of them is going to be relaly important.

"I'm just trying to stay focused. It's really hard to not kind of think about all the things that could go wrong – which is not a good thing.

"Right now it's getting to that point where it's like: 'last push, last push, last push.'

That 'last push' will mean a hectic schedule of travelling as well as training, but Kadeena says she finds inspiration from many of the athletes she will be racing against next month. 

"Once you get MS, or a condition like this, it doesn't mean that life's over and you have to stop. You can fight back and you can still achieve what you want to achieve.

"I'm doing it for everyone that's around me and the athletes that I compete with these days – they're my inspiration, because I see so many people that have had so many different set-backs and they've gone through hardship and they still  come out fighting.

And those are the people that help me to get through tough times because I just think: if they can get through it, why can't I?"

You can watch our video interview with Kadeena here:

Kadeena Cox prepares for Rio from Northern Quota on Vimeo.