Rio repeat in Tokyo tops Stockport sprinter Clegg’s priority list… after newborn son of course

If you’d told Libby Clegg she’d be competing in a World Championships semi-final seven months after giving birth, she would never have believed you.

Disqualification from the T11 200m semi-finals in Dubai on Wednesday was a disappointing way to end, but for Clegg, who gave birth to her son Edward on April 13, just being able to compete was a triumph in itself.

The Stockport-born sprinter, who is a double Paralympic champion, certainly loves a challenge.

She knows if she can make a semi-final just 214 days after having an emergency caesarean, repeating her Paralympic success at Tokyo is certainly on the cards. 

“I can’t complain. I’m really happy,” said Clegg.

“Getting back on track is a huge achievement after having my little boy seven months ago today.

“I’ve been through a lot over the last three years and to be honest, after Rio I didn’t know whether I’d even be able to make it this long.

“It gives me more determination to come back next year and beat them.

“I’m massively motivated. If I didn’t want to do this, I would have just stopped after I found out I was pregnant, but Tokyo next year is a real goal of mine and I want to repeat what I did in Rio.”

The World Para Athletics Championships was Clegg’s first major competition since the Paralympics three years ago, with pregnancy and injuries meaning she had only raced seven times in-between.

Reaching the semi-finals was always her aim, the new mother admitting anything else would have been a bonus considering her difficult return to the track.

“My lifestyle has changed now, and athletics isn’t my number one priority now, my little boy is,” added the Scot.

“It makes everything harder, but we’ll see.

“I’ve got a great team around me with Joe [McDonnell], Tom [Somers], Chris [Clarke, guide], Mike Allen my therapist and I’m really lucky I’ve got a great team that support me.”

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