London calling in race ace Isaac’s medal bid

Isaac Towers
Isaac Towers
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Teenager Isaac Towers is counting down the days for his medal quest in the World Para Athletics Championship at the London Stadium, starting with the T34 400 metres on Monday night.

Blackpool Wyre and Fylde AC athlete Towers, who also races for Great Britain in the 800 metres a week today, is refusing to get nervous at the prospect of performing on such a lofty stage, and despite tender years he is well used to performing on the big occasion.

The 18-year-old wheelchair athlete, from Catterall, will not be out of place in such elite company as he won gold in the 800 at last year’s European Championship as well as silver in the 400.

And the former AKS pupil says he will not feel the pressure.

Towers said: “I will just be trying to treat it as just another race and I don’t think I will be nervous. I can only control what I do myself on the track, not what anyone else in the races can do.”

Towers is steering well clear of making any pre-Games predictions.

He said: “I am not going to say I am going to win a medal, but that is what everybody I race against in London will be trying to do. I am just the same.

“A lot depends on how you perform on the day but I am in a quite positive state of mind about it all.”

The action will be red-hot in both races in which Towers is competing as he and his global rivals go straight into the 400 and 800 finals without any recourse to preliminary rounds and the demands of qualification.

Towers, who also competed at last year’s Paralympics in Rio and reached the 800m final, said: “It would be good to have heats but that’s the way it has worked out, and it is the same for everybody after all.

“Training has gone well and I will be travelling down to London with my coach (Peter Wyman). We will be talking about tactics and how we are going to plan the races.

The world championship will get under way on Fridayagainst a backdrop of tragedy.

Para-athlete Abdullah Hayayei died after a discus cage collapsed on him as he trained in London ahead of the championships.

The 36-year-old, who had been due to represent the United Arab Emirates in the F34 class discus, javelin and shot put, was training at Newham Leisure Centre when the incident happened.

An ongoing police investigation meant International Paralympic Committee and London 2017 chiefs were unable to divulge details of the tragic incident at a press conference.

But Majid Rashed, president of the Asian Paralympic Committee, confirmed: “I can say the throwing cage collapsed on the athlete’s head.