Paralympic sprinter Evan O’Hanlon is arguably to the Paralympic Games what Usain Bolt is to the Olympics.
Lining up in the T38 100m and 200m for athletes with cerebral palsy in Beijing four years ago, the then 19-year-old burst out of the blocks to not only take gold but clock then world record times of 10.96 and 21.98.
Fast-forward four years and London 2012 is shaping up as impressive for the Sydney-boy who now resides in Canberra, where he is on scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport.
Turning twenty-four in May, O’Hanlon has to date this Australian season improved his 100m world record to a yet to be ratified 10.91 (w: +0.1) before at the Sydney Track Classic crossing the line in the 200m in 21.98, an equal world record.
“It’s been a really good start to the Paralympic year,” O’Hanlon said before flying south for the Qantas Melbourne Track Classic & Olympic Trial today.
“Our whole squad has been going really well to be honest, Iryna Dvoskina (coach) has mastered the four-year cycle program and we are starting the reap the rewards of both her and our hard work.”
O’Hanlon this weekend will again line-up in the short sprints alongside his fellow London hopefuls in Gabriel Cole (SA), Simon Patmore (Qld), Tim Sullivan (Vic) and Jack Swift (Vic).
It will be the last time the fastest Paralympian in the world lines up on home soil before returning to a solid block of training and competition in Europe.
“This weekend will be my last weekend for the season so I am looking for solid results in both events, if conditions permit I want to run really fast and push my own world records,” O’Hanlon said.
“From here I will head into some base training, in fact on the beach for a couple of weeks, then to the ACT and Queensland for a couple of months training before heading into Cardiff a month out from the Games.”
In an exciting prospect for the Paralympics Games this year, all tickets to athletics are sold out, and for O’Hanlon this added pressure of a big crowd only adds to excitement of donning your green and gold uniform.
“The sold out stadiums are going to be amazing,” O’Hanlon continued.
“It will be almost like a home event as we are in the mother country, and big crowds make it so exciting. Big crowds breed big results, and some added pressure which I thrive on.”
“We have a real team to watch too. The obvious stand outs are Kelly Cartwright and Kurt Fearnley, but there are the likes of Scott Reardon, Sam Harding and Simon Patmore in the groove and ready to compete.”
Competition at the Qantas Melbourne Track Classic & Olympic Trial begins at Lakeside Stadium tomorrow night at 5:45pm. Gates open at 3:00pm, with tickets for adults costing $20.00.
Doubling as Round 1 of the IAAF World Challenge, the event is the pinnacle of the Australian athletics calendar and with names like Sally Pearson (Qld), Henry Frayne (Qld), Alana Boyd (WA), O’Hanlon and his Paralympic teammates set to start it will be a great show.
For more information on the Qantas Melbourne Track Classic & Olympic Trial, please follow this link.
Athletics Australia wish all athletes competing this weekend the best of luck as together we all share the Olympic and Paralympic journey.
Subscribe to our newsletters to keep up to date with Athletics in Australia.