If Laura Sugar could run a full 100-metre race as well as she does the first 60m, the Saffron Walden sprinter could have become a World Para Athletics European champion.
Instead she had to settle for bronze in Berlin but with time on the 27-year-old’s side in her bid for Toyko 2020 Paralympic honours, her journey isn’t near ending just yet.
True to form Sugar dominated in the opening stages of her T64 100m final, leading the way as she looked to complete the set of European medals following 2014 and 2016 bronze and silver success.
Gold wasn’t to come her way but the smile couldn’t be wiped from Sugar’s face, the feeling of standing on the podium still a sweet one as she celebrated her fifth continental honour.
“I looked at the second place time and that would have been a big personal best for me to have come second,” she said after stopping the clock in 13.63s behind champion Marlene van Gansewinkel.
“I would have liked to still come third in that race but with a slightly quicker time.
“But I am happy I have got a medal. I had two world record holders against me, but I knew I wanted to push in the first 60 which I think I did.
“The last 40 is not quite there yet, but I am getting there.”
Sure enough the optimism remains high for the Essex runner, a former hockey player before turning her attentions to the track as opposed to the field.
It was while watching fellow British athlete Dan Greaves at the London 2012 Paralympic Games that Sugar, who has talipes – meaning her foot is turned in – realised para-athletics could be her calling.
In less than two years’ time she could be part of the Paralympic movement herself, with the allure of Tokyo 2020 forming every part of her preparation in and out of competition.
Another chance to impress in Berlin’s Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark will come in Wednesday’s T64 200m final but it’s one number across half the distance that continues to dominate her thoughts.
“Every day I am learning something new and I have those little lightbulb moments every couple of months where it finally clicks and I know I have got a target in my head,” she added.
“I want to break that 13-second barrier and I know it isn’t that far away in good conditions with me nailing my race.
“And when you are sub-13 seconds, that’s a medal, even if you are 13.2 and below that’s right in the mix.
“I know I am a good racer and on the day I race well so it’s not quite there yet but I am definitely in the right place and moving in the right direction.”
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.