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By Tanni Thompson

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He didn’t get to hear his music and he fell apart. I have never believed in using such routines, because I know how bad I am at temporarily losing things! I do have a routine that I use for warming up, but it’s adaptable. Sometimes we don’t have a track to warm up on which is separate from the competing track, so you have to be flexible. On the other hand, I do mind who I share rooms with when I travel, and I have never felt guilty about this. When you have spent perhaps two years training specifically for an event, the choice of person who is with you for the final moments is important.

I went in as British, European, World and Paralympic champion and record holder in a number of events. I 37 TA N N I G R E Y T H O M P S O N qualified for the Olympic demonstration race in the 800 metres, but didn’t compete well. Going into the Paralympics, I did lots of media interviews where journalists asked me what I thought I could achieve. I believed I could win two golds, a silver and a bronze. This was based on what I had done in the past year, and the current form as I saw it of the athletes who were likely to be there.

I heard that the stadium was full. My sister was in the stadium – she had been there for several hours making sure that she got the best seats near the finish line. I got a message to her and told her what my race tactics were going to be. The plan was that I would sit in lane two on the edge of pack and wait for a sprint finish. I had used the same tactics a couple of times that year against the USA girls, and had done well. But once the gun went off, I changed my mind. I knew that I had a really strong finish and over the final 400 metres I could pull ahead and do well, but I decided that I would go to the front straight away, and pull the speed out of the pack.

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