By David McPherson
Just two weeks before Isis Holt won two gold medals and broke her own world record, she was lying in a hospital bed.
Suffering from tonsillitis, she was wondering if she’d even make it to the World Para Athletics Championships in London.
“We had one or two weeks left before I had to leave and I was in hospital for three days,” she said.
“There was a conversation when my coach came in and said if you had heats and finals in London you wouldn’t be going – it would be too much on your body if you were still recovering.”
Holt had just two finals to run – the 100m and 200m in the women’s T35 class. Her preparation was severely impacted.
“Before that [the hospital stay] there was an extra four or five days where I didn’t train. The next session I did after hospital was in London.”
“I guess mentally it messed around with my head a little bit because I didn’t feel like I’d prepared enough.”
The disastrous lead-in seemed not to affect the 16-year-old track star.
Holt won gold with a world record time of 13.43 in the 100m, beating her own previous world record by 0.14 seconds.
She backed up that performance by knocking-off Paralympics champion Zhou Xia from China in the 200m in 28.47 seconds.
“It was a really big surprise. It showed that all the preparation we’d done beforehand and all the really hard work did pay off.”
Holt is now turning her attention to next year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
“I’m really excited for Comm Games – I think it will be awesome to be able to compete in Australia,” she said.
“Being able to compete in front of crowds like that with everyone supporting you will be amazing.”