It took some getting used to for paralympic athlete Kimberly Alkemade (31): coming out of a bend on a 200 meters in total silence. The European Championship allowed de Bossche to get used to having to perform at the Games in Tokyo later without family, friends and with only a few people in the stands.
“It was a very strange sensation,” says Kimberly Alkemade about the European Championship that took place last week in Poland without an audience. “And also a difficult tournament mentally. There was no one there who was involved in my process, not my personal coach. and no family and friends. The Dutch staff is of course ready for you, but that is different.”
Nevertheless, the Bossche athlete, active in the 100 and 200 meters, was happy with the major European tournament. “It’s nice to experience that. You come across things that you have not thought about in advance and that can have an effect on you. Now I have been able to practice and experience what it is like to perform without family and friends. That’s good to take with you to Tokyo.”
Back on level
She is not completely sure of the Games yet, but Alkemade assumes that she will be part of the Paralympic selection. “They select the athletes who have the best chance of winning a medal. I made a good start at the 2019 World Cup (once silver and once bronze, ed.). I’m back at that same level, just now early in the season. And it just gets a little better every time.”
The European Championship did not come at an ideal time, because my tube and blade were not yet in order. But I had to make do with it.
However, there is still improvement in the performance of the athlete from Brabant, she says herself. ,,After some injuries, I was only able to train on the athletics track three weeks before the competition season. Then you don’t go full steam just yet. In order to qualify for Tokyo, I have to compete. The European Championship did not come at an ideal time, because my tube and blade were not yet in order. But I had to make do with it. And I’m very proud that despite everything I ran under the limit for the Games.”
It will be the first time for Alkemade, who lost her left lower leg in an accident at the age of 8, that she can shine at the Paralympics. ‘Super fat’, if she says so herself. ,,At the European Championships I noticed that I am nervous, but that I can keep myself very calm. I am still going to a speed camp in Alicante and I expect that I can take another step there.”
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Sprinting at a European Championship without an audience remains a strange sensation: ‘Good exercise for the Games’ | Regional sports
Source link Sprinting at a European Championship without an audience remains a strange sensation: ‘Good exercise for the Games’ | Regional sports