Tokyo on the brain for Jenkins after breezing to European glory

Harri Jenkins secured British Athletics’ first track gold. Pic: Ben Booth Photography

A confident Harri Jenkins believes the push to Tokyo is back on after storming his way to World Para Athletics European Championship gold in Berlin.

The season has far from been consistent for the Welsh wheelchair racer but he delivered when it mattered to win the T33 100m title – Great Britain’s sole track gold on the opening night.

Admittedly the field wasn’t the strongest with just two racers competing but Jenkins knows competitions like this are about more than the initial results.

Less than two years remain until the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games with consistency now the order of the day for the 22-year-old, whose time in Germany has already come to an end.

“Before coming out I was really disappointed I was competing right at the start of the week, but when I got here I was so happy I was right at the beginning,” said the Neath racer.

“This week is going to be a lovely learning curve for me for the future, I am just going to soak in this week and just learn where everything is and how everything goes and this is what this week will give me.

“I think this week will be key going forward to hopefully the World Championships next year and going forward to Tokyo.”

Jenkins knows the years to come will almost certainly produce quicker times than the 19.44 seconds he produced in the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark.

But for a competitor who has, at times, struggled to stitch 100 metres of solid racing together, this is certainly a performance he can take with him ahead of big two years in the chair.

That’s as long as consistency joins him on the path to Tokyo.

“I didn’t get out very well but this track isn’t the best for times so I wasn’t really concentrating on that it was just about getting the win,” added Jenkins, who was born with cerebral palsy.

“I was going into the event hoping for gold and I have come away with it in the end so I am really happy.

“Everything I am doing is pushing towards Tokyo.

“This season has been a bit on-off for me, I have changed a bit of my set-up – I have changed my chair, I have changed a few things around me – it’s coming through now and now I am European champion so it couldn’t be better.”

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.