Chiassaro misses out as bid for European five comes to an end

Chiassaro was bidding for five medals in Berlin. Pic: Ben Booth Photography.

It’s one down and four to go for Richard Chiassaro who couldn’t be too disappointed despite missing out on the podium in his World Para Athletics European Championship opener.

Five events await for the Harlow wheelchair racer in Berlin, a challenge he knows will push him all the way against Europe’s best.

The first stage of the epic week began with Tuesday’s T54 200m race, finishing fourth and narrowly missing out on a medal behind British teammate Nathan Maguire.

But with this not one of his specialist events, Chiassaro knows he is only just getting warmed up in the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark.

“I don’t feel like the race went badly,” he said. “I had a good start, my wheel lifted at one point around the bend but it wasn’t anything.

“They were just faster than me. Nathan did some sessions with me before we came out here, so I knew how well he was doing.

“I said to him before that he could easily medal and he has just proved it, so I’m really pleased with him for that.

“Nathan is fast at starting and when he started to make some ground on me that made me lift my wheel and then that was it, I lost my speed and he just killed me. It’s his first medal so I’m really pleased for him.”

Chiassaro won’t have too much time to reflect on what has gone however, with Wednesday seeing him return for the T54 400m before competing over double the distance the next day.

The 36-year-old will do so with plenty of confidence still behind him, collecting four medals the last time he competed at European level, at Grosseto 2016.

He left with a 200m title on that occasion but with the body still feeling fresh, any fears of a disappointing Championships are not being considered.

“My focus is on the 400m and the 800m, it would have been nice to have medalled in the 200m as well especially with the times I put in in beforehand but they were just faster than me,” added Chiassaro, born with spina bifida.

“The 400m is my best event so I will go back to the hotel, get some treatment and see what happens.

“The 100m and 1500m are after that and I’ll go and have some fun, I’ve got two events on Thursday so it’s going to be difficult so I’ll head to the physio and make sure I’m all sorted for that.”

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. We do this via the funded initiative, the World Class Programme, one part of the British Athletics pathway.