Berlin wait over for wheelchair racer Maguire as he prepares for World Para-athletics European Championships

Yahoo Sport UK
Pic: British Athletics/Getty Images
Pic: British Athletics/Getty Images

The buzz of international selection will never fizzle out for Nathan Maguire as the Chester athlete prepares to face the continent’s best at next week’s World Para Athletics European Championships.

The 21-year-old competed on the world stage on his home London track last year but now has Europe in his sights with just days remaining until he competes in Berlin.

He’ll do so with a strong chance of success, competing in no fewer than five T54 events – the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 4x100m relay.

A busy week it will therefore be but Maguire is simply itching to get going in Germany, looking for his first place on the podium after finishing fourth in the Commonwealth Games earlier this year.

“I can’t wait to go out there, I’ve been counting down to Berlin all year after having the Commonwealth Games at the start of the year,” he said.

“That started the season off pretty well and I’ve been counting down the weeks from there right up until selection, then it’s been knuckling down and looking forward to it.

“I love getting the phone call, even when you’ve got the qualification times it’s still a nerve-wracking feeling when you’re sat there by the phone – it’s exciting every time it rings.

“I’ll never lose that buzz, I always love putting on that GB vest and going out there in front of the crowds – they’re the best bit.

“Last year in London, when your name gets called and you see the number of British people there to watch you, you want to feel that roar as they call out your name all over again.

“I get goosebumps just thinking about it – I just love going out there and competing.”

Goosebump moments have become rather commonplace for Maguire, feeling the tingle from the very start of his para-athletics journey when watching the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Since then he has never looked back, becoming a Paralympian himself four years later in Rio but it’s Tokyo 2020 that really holds his attention.

His path is so far looking rather promising, with personal bests in all of his main events coming in 2018 alone – a confidence booster if ever there was one.

But don’t confuse confidence with complacency for Maguire, he knows the hard work is only just beginning if he wants to make his way to the top.

“I had Swiss nationals in May and June and came out of there with a personal best in everything, it just showed that the hard work I’ve been putting in was worth it,” he added.

“That was massive for me, going and racing the people I’m going to compete against in Berlin and beating a couple, that really helps the positivity going into it – you believe you can do it.

“I like to make sure I can be competitive in everything, in the future I want to be the best in everything.

“I went to Rio and was in the relay there but when it comes to Tokyo I want to be able to have my own event, I want to be there in my own right.”

Maguire’s journey into wheelchair athletics began when aged just eight, a spinal cord injury changing his life before a first sporting journey could begin.

But he has far from been alone in showing resilience, far from seeing his circumstances as something holding him back.

“Without sport I would be lost, I would be sat at home bored and sport has defied who I am as a person,” he added.

“Some people see disability as the end of a life but it’s the beginning of a new life for me, one you need to learn how to live in and how to get the most out of that.

“It would mean the world to me to do well – my mum cries when I make it to the final so goodness knows what she’ll be like if I win a medal.”

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.

What to Read Next