CREWE wheelchair racer Stuart Bloor is eyeing Paralympic Games qualification after gaining invaluable experience at Sainsbury's Glasgow Grand Prix.
After a promising start to the T54 1500m race at Hampden Park, Bloor lost pace with the leaders and placed 10th in 3:31.12 minutes.
The 26-year-old missed out on a return to Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games, while a spot at August’s IPC European Championships in Swansea looks unlikely.
But after mixing it with the likes of six-time Paralympic champion David Weir, who finished first, Bloor admits his goal is now reaching Rio in 2016.
“The rest of the year is mainly about training, getting a bit fitter, working on my speed now,” said the former Crewe Flyers swimmer.
“I'll be out of the European contention this year, I'm working more towards next year now. The big aim is for two years time and Rio.
“Racing here was all about experience and it was such a strong field, it is important to get used to this sort of race to make sure I am well prepared for making it in two years time.
“It is disappointing to miss out on the big competitions but you can’t rush these things, you have to be patient and do the right things and it will come.”
And Crewe and Nantwich Athletics Club’s Bloor believes conquering his anxiety at big events will be the key to bridging that gap towards Brazil.
“It's the strongest field I've come up against in all my time racing, so I knew it was going to be difficult,” added Bloor.
“But actually going up against those people, at the beginning it seemed to go really well, so it's given me more experience to know what I'm going to do next time.
“I'd been nervous all day about it, so it’s just about calming myself and getting myself ready for it.”
Sainsbury’s is a proud sponsor of the British Paralympic Association and its athletes all the way to Rio 2016, with para-athletics set to play a starring role in the indoor and outdoor athletics calendar as the retailer continues to partner the major event series.
Sainsbury’s is proud to support British Athletics through the Summer Series events and is committed to helping young people lead healthier, more active lifestyles. For more information visit www.sainsburys.co.uk/legacy