Rowlings keen to add to WPA European Championship medal haul

Rowlings is after more medals in Berlin. Pic: Ben Booth Photography

Ben Rowlings will already leave Berlin with one medal but the Shropshire wheelchair racer is far from content with settling on his World Para Athletics European Championships haul.

A confidence booster had already come his way across 100m but the T34 400m provided something more tangible, a European silver medal.

Stopping the clock in 55.92 seconds was enough for the 22-year-old – who is the European record holder in the event – to take his place on the podium, more than a second behind Finland’s Henry Manni.

Yet with his favoured 800m to come on Sunday, there’s a feeling that more could still come Rowlings’ way – so long as he stitches all his components together.

“I’ve got a bit of time now before the 800m, I’ll rest up, see my family and go from there,” said Rowlings, who has cerebral palsy.

“I’ll rest, it’s been a busy week so far. I’ve got the big one at the end of the week. I’ll just try and recover as best I can.

“It’ll be a thinking man’s 800m, so I’ll have to work out my tactics. It’s been a long couple of days, it’s hot, hard work. I’ll take a couple of days and then come back for the weekend.

“I’m feeling better than before, I’m happy with the race and it’s an improvement over the past couple of Europeans I’ve done.”

Rising temperatures in Berlin made 400m racing tough going, with delays to the schedule and on the start line far from helping the situation for a man itching for a medal.

Just a day previous he had suffered disappointment in fourth place, a heartache he was determined not to repeat at the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark.

There is also the bigger picture for the Shrewsbury-born athlete to consider too, with two years to go until the next Paralympic Games and Tokyo 2020.

He added: “It’s going in the right direction. I would’ve liked to have been closer to the front, but it’s a silver medal.

“It’s about who managed it best, and unfortunately I wasn’t good enough to get the win, but silver’s a nice prize to take home.

“It’s an improvement, it’s a step up, it shows good signs for the next couple of years.

“I just wanted to come here and race. We changed coaches this year, so I didn’t know what to expect, I knew I was pushing well, but a Championships is a completely different thing.

“There’s a lot of ground I can make up, especially on the start, but I’ve got enough time to do it before Tokyo.”

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