Shelby Watson: June Report

Shelby Watson
ParAthletics IPC Grand Prix – Switzerland Open Nationals 25th-30th May 2016

Can I just start off by saying I don’t like flights!! I think I’ve watched too many disaster movies! Apart from that my flight to Switzerland was exciting because at the other end is like this lifetime supply of amazing chocolate….Not going to lie I filled my bag, on the way there and back!

Shelby WatsonI didn’t get to see too much of Switzerland when Janice and I first arrived, as we got there in the early evening. When we got to the hotel room we unpacked Wilson (racer) and got down to the track as soon as possible to set my compensater for the following day’s competition. After a couple of laps around the track (amazing track) my compensater was set and I felt ready for the competition. Janice and I headed back to the hotel room for food and then we soon retired for the evening as I had an early start in the morning ready for the first day of the competition.

Day 1

I woke up at about half past seven. I was nervous but excited at the same time. I put on my Scotland strip and my lucky tartan socks before heading for an athlete’s breakfast (they didn’t do Coco Pops so I settled for fruit and fresh juice). The weather was lovely for the first day of the competition but, as a Scot, I wasn’t used to the heat. My first races were the 100m and 400m heats (hate the 400m). I came first in both races and then later discovered that I had broke world records in both distances and set a PB in the 100m. I was surprised and shocked at the news but it was too hot for me to jump about with excitement, so I settled for a free sausage from the food stand (couldn’t find the ketchup…gutted).

Day 2

The day started off much the same (still no Coco Pops so I had fruit again). Today was the Shelby with Tatyana200m and 800m heats so I was excited to get onto the track and race. Again the weather was lovely but still too hot as I’m used racing in colder temperatures but I still raced well and came first in both races, setting PBs and breaking some more world records. Again I was excited and ecstatic but free sausages were no longer available at the food stands (once again left gutted) so I went inside for my lunch, which I’m not complaining about because I then met my hero Tatyana McFadden (world’s fastest T54 female wheelchair racer) – I even got a picture with her! I may have come across as a stalker as I got way too excited to meet her.

Competition Days 3 and 4

It chucked it down…I’ve never felt so at home. Downside being that I got no PBs in my finals but I got first finishes in all my events and I was happy with my performances.

I had an amazing time in Switzerland. I’ve never seen so many racers in one place! It’s been an amazing experience and I loved every second of it. Janice is an amazing travel companion and we have lots of funny stories to share (when we dropped the racer onto someone in the queue). I enjoyed catching up with some old friends and making some new ones. The Switzerland meet has allowed me to come home with four new world records, which now means I hold five official world records. I couldn’t be happier. Switzerland has also allowed me to come home with more experience and knowledge of my sport….and also a bag full of chocolate.