David Devine has waited six years to compete on the big stage but the Liverpool runner couldn’t help feeling disappointed after missing out on World Para Athletics European Championship gold.
Not since the London 2012 Paralympic Games had Devine run with the best, relieved just to be taking to the start line of the men’s T13 1500m in Berlin.
But after leading the race until the final 150 metres and dictating the pace throughout, the 26-year-old double Paralympic medallist was left wondering about a European title that could have been his.
“It’s definitely good to be back, this is my first major competition since London 2012 so it is really good to be back racing again,” said Devine, who has a visual impairment.
“I am a little bit disappointed because I think I am in the shape to have won it but when you get beat you just have to take it, I was second best.
“I thought I would go to the front and just control the race and then when they decide to pick it up I am the person in control, instead of trying to react and potentially missing the break because of not being able to see that well.
“I think being at the front is the best place for me to be.”
Serhii’s Bereziuk’s time of 4:05.21 proved less than half-a-second too much for Devine to cope with on Monday but his European adventure isn’t done there, returning to the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark for Friday’s T13 5000m final.
It’s an event he goes into with confidence, particularly with one medal already behind him, with expectations of a prize better than silver this time around.
Yet with injury problems a thing of the past and the Tokyo Paralympics rapidly approaching, there’s a feeling that even more is on the horizon for the Liverpool middle-distance runner.
“After London 2012, I was injured for three-and-a-half or four years, so the last year and a half has been about rebuilding and trying to get my fitness back,” he added.
“The last six months have been big really and I am back to where I was in 2012.
“The 5000m is definitely my best event this year. I have ran a lot better over the 5000 than the 1500m so I have got three days to rest up and get ready for it and hopefully I can win gold in the 5000.”
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.