Aberdeen’s Neil Fachie will be “giving it everything” to earn two more golds at the Para-cycling Track World Championships this weekend.
Fachie and pilot Matt Rotherham are the reigning champions in the men’s Tandem B 1km time trial and sprint events going into the event in Apeldoorn, Netherlands.
The 35-year-old’s titles in Rio last year were his 11th and 12th world golds and the first chapter in a redemptive few weeks that also saw him triumph in both events at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Apeldoorn hosted a Fachie double at the worlds in 2015 and he’s confident ahead of tomorrow’s kilo and Sunday’s sprint.
Fachie said: “I didn’t expect to be going as quick as we did back (at the beginning of the season) in January.
“I thought we’d go well, but it was unexpected.
“We started off from that point, but obviously you want to go quicker at the world championships.
“I’m not sure how quick the track’s running, but it looked like there were some seriously quick times being posted.
“I’ve got ambitions to go really well this weekend if I can, but at the end of the day it’s about winning the medal not the time.
“As long as we beat our rivals, that’s all that really matters.”
Fachie and Rotherham – who are aiming to represent Great Britain at the Tokyo Paralympics next year – have broken their world record in the kilo twice in recent months.
However, these times of 59.422secs and 59.278secs remain unratified due to a lack of anti-doping staff at the competitions.
But one thing is clear, if the pair blitz the best time ever this weekend the new marks will stand.
Fachie said: “Every time a start list comes out it has the world record on it.
“So I’m waiting to see tomorrow whether it’s been amended to the time we did a few weeks back.
“I haven’t heard anything, so I don’t think they have been unfortunately.
“There’s always an anti-doping presence at these championships, so any record here will be ratified.
“If we’re going to win, I reckon we’ll have to be pretty close to the record or break it – if we don’t do it somebody else will.”
Despite his number one target being another Paralympic gold to add to his kilo crown from London 2012 – Fachie was devastated by silver at the Rio Games in 2016 – he insists world glory “means a lot”.
Fachie said: “We have it every year, so it comes round really quickly.
“But it’s the pinnacle every season and our status in the GB programme is based on our performance at this event every year.
“So it’s got huge importance from that aspect – you want to be a funded athlete on the GB programme and you need to perform.
“Equally it counts as qualification points towards the Tokyo Games and lets your rivals know where you’re at in the cycle ahead of the Paralympics.
“The prestige of the event is huge in itself and you get the rainbow jersey you get to wear for the next year of competition – everyone knows you’re the world champion.
“It means a lot and I’ll be giving it my everything.”