RUGBY’s Sam Ruddock is gearing himself up for one of the biggest moments in his sporting career as he prepares to represent Great Britain at a second Pralympic Games in Rio.
The 26-year-old, who is from Rugby but trains in Loughborough, will compete in the Men’s F35 Shot Put at the Games which got underway this week.
It is a new event at the Games with Ruddock having debuted it at the IPC 2014 European Championships where he finished fifth overall and the Rugby man is keeping his chances of winning a medal under close wraps.
“Focusing on whether I can be on the podium would be jumping the gun,” he said. “I would rather concentrate on what I need to do, to give myself the best chance of being on it.
“That means doing what we’ve been doing in training, shot put is extremely process driven, if I follow the technical process correctly, who knows how far the shot will go.”
At London 2012, Ruddock competed over the short sprints but has transformed into one of the world’s best F35 shot putters after vast improvements in the last couple of years.
After concentrating solely on the shot put in 2015, Ruddock alongside his coach Jim Edwards and the rest of his team have worked hard to be among the best in the world and he demonstrated that in Doha last year after throwing a personal best of 13.75m in the final to introduce himself on the international stage.
With an impressive record of personal and season’s bests at major championships in the event, Sam is however confident that he will do himself and his support team justice in Rio
“Fortunately, I have a psychological advantage of performing well when it matters but again, I owe that to meticulous planning done by the coaches.
“Technical work in the circle, as well as the strength and conditioning will be tailored accordingly to ensure we’re ready for the Paralympic final. I honestly can’t wait to get out there and cash in on all the hard work we’ve done this season.”
Ruddock travelled with a GB team made up of 54 men and women who will represent their country over 11 days of competition in Rio de Janeiro, which got underway today (Thursday).
“It is absolutely incredible and sincerely humbling to be chosen by your country, to compete on the biggest stage in your sport”, added Ruddock.
“I owe this milestone to everyone who’s helped me reach it, family, friends but crucially, my coaches, their investment of time and effort in my development has been phenomenal. My ambition is to repay them and everyone who’s ever assisted us on this journey, by performing to the best of my ability in the final.”
The Men’s F35 Shot Put Final will take place during the evening session on Monday September 12 and will be broadcast live on Channel 4 and More