Sophie Hahn set for Olympic Park debut at National Paralympic Day

Sophie Hahn is gearing up to retain her world title this autumn EMN-150723-094611002
Sophie Hahn is gearing up to retain her world title this autumn EMN-150723-094611002
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Para-athletic sensation Sophie Hahn is hoping her story will help inspire the next generation when she races at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for the first time this weekend.

When the likes of Mo Farah and David Weir were captivating a nation at London 2012, Sophie Hahn was not even competing in athletics.

A year later the 18-year-old was a world champion and world record-holder, making her an ideal poster girl for the legacy buzzword surrounding the last Olympics and Paralympics.

Hahn, who was born with cerebral palsy, was encouraged to start running after London 2012 by her brother and what followed was truly remarkable.

In her first season in 2013, victory in the 100m and 200m at the England Athletics Senior Disability Championships was followed by selection for the World Championships in Lyon.

Within a few weeks she had burst onto the international scene as she broke the 200m world record on the way to a silver medal before she secured gold in her favoured event, the 100m.

On Sunday, the former Brooksby Melton College pupil competes at the Olympic Stadium for the first time as part of National Paralympic Day.

Hahn said: “It should be a fantastic day with a great atmosphere. There are so many memories from London 2012 so I’m really excited to be competing at the Olympic Park.

“I was inspired by watching London 2012 on TV and didn’t start competing in athletics until the year after so it did inspire me. It was the main reason I got involved with the sport.

“One of my goals now is to do the same and inspire people.

“When I started I did not expect to become a world champion and world record holder so it was a massive shock.

“But I hope my story inspires people and shows you can be successful while still remaining humble.”

Hahn, who will be competing in the 100m at the weekend, has already broken her personal best for both the 100m and 200m this year.

Her next major challenge will be a second World Championships in Doha, Qatar, this autumn where she is hopeful of running in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.

“In terms of my career goals, I just want to stay humble and hopefully I will make the next Paralympics,” she added.

“That is my long-term goal but in the shorter term, hopefully I can make the World Championships in October.

“My preparation is going really well. Everything is going smoothly and it is all looking good heading towards the World Championships.

“This will be my second World Championships and I know what is to come now but because of where it is, it is likely to be very humid.

“It would be nice to win a medal and hopefully I can make the finals and do my country proud.”

* Tickets for National Paralympic Day are available at Ticketmaster: #NPD2015 is supported by Spirit of 2012