A para-athlete from Cheadle has reminisced on his time at the Tokyo Paralympics after enjoying comeback success. Shaun Burrows was on the verge of calling time on his career in 2018 after sustaining a long-term hamstring injury.
A para-athlete from Cheadle has reminisced on his time at the Tokyo Paralympics after enjoying comeback success.
Shaun Burrows was on the verge of calling time on his career in 2018 after sustaining a long-term hamstring injury.
But the 23-year-old, who has Cerebal Palsy, made a remarkable return from the physio table to qualify for the final of the T38 400-metre Paralympic final in Japan, where he finished seventh.
“The Paralympics was different but really good,” he told the Times & Echo.
“I was really proud to represent my country.
“I was surprised (about making the final) because I should have been one of the slowest ones but I turned out to be one of the quickest ones in the heat.
“I finished second place to get to the final which was amazing.”
Shaun said he wasn’t put off by the lack of crowds in Tokyo, which was under a state of emergency lockdown at the time meaning no spectators were allowed to attend the Games.
He explained: “We are actually used to it. We don’t usually get anybody watching us.
“Normally it’s just family and friends. Lots of places I’ve been to have had no crowds anyway.”
The Paralympics marked a full-circle return for Shaun, who said he was “proud” to bounce back from nearly quitting the discipline to reaching the highest world stage.
He added: “In 2018 I was going to pack up with mental health issues.
“I did get some help and finally went back to training and to seeing my friends.”
He subsequently earned a call up to compete for Great Britain at the European Athletics Championships in Poland in June where he claimed an extraordinary silver.
Shaun revealed he may try out for the 100-metres at next year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, with the 400-metres not included as an event.
Then he will set his sights on the 2022 World Para Athletics Championships in Japan, which runs from August to September.
“There is the Commonwealth Games next year but unfortunately there is no 400-metres, there’s just the 100-metres,” Shaun said.
“But I am the second fastest in the UK so I might go and try it.
“I’ve got the world champs in the 400-metres too. I feel really good.
“I’m hoping to get picked, of course. I’ll work really hard this year to get my times faster and better to get picked again.”
Meanwhile, Shaun said he was “surprised and shocked” to be asked to be the special guest to turn on Cheadle’s Christmas Lights on November 20.
He said: “My birthday’s on Christmas day so it’s an extra birthday present!”
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