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Paralympic medallist Paul preparing to ‘put the icing on the cake’
- Updated: May 5, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
Two-time Paralympian Kevin Paul starts the next chapter of his road to Rio 2016 on Thursday as he and a few fellow South Africans head for Mauritius.
The SB10 para-swimmer who won gold in Beijing and silver in London looks well on track for more metalware after solid swims at last month’s national aquatic championships in his new hometown of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
The former Port Elizabeth swimmer, who turns 25 next month, took a few seconds to share his journey with Road to Rio 2016.
‘Yeah, I was very happy with my nationals, and swimming two qualifiers in the 200m Individual Medley and the 100m breaststroke. Timewise I’m also happy with where we are just a couple of months out from the “big one”.
He went onto say that his move up the coast was a justified one.
‘Two years ago I made that move to be with Graham Hill [national swim coach] and to be surround with guys like Chad le Clos, Myles Brown and Calvin Justus just makes things so much easier. Everyone is working towards pretty much the same goals.
‘I always reckon the main thing is every four-year Paralympic cycle is to build your confidence and your momentum. So the 100m breaststroke gold medals at IPC World Championships in 2013 and 2015 give great confidence. When you’re standing on those starting blocks knowing you have beaten the guys you’re up against it’s a huge help.’
And having coach Hill along for the journey is a big help.
‘He’s put together the whole trip and plan for the guys who have qualified for the Rio Olympics and Paralympics. He’ll get us away and have us dong the hard sessions with no distractions. Sure, it’s tough being away from home but having everyone there together, motivating each other and feeding off each other and all the time knowing that the reason for it is the Olympics/Paralympics makes it so much easier.
‘So I’m just carrying on working and applying the finish touches to the last three years work. So figuratively speaking we’re pretty much putting the icing on the cake.
‘And we all want a big slice of that cake once the Games are done and dusted.’