Neil Fachie says unfinished business is driving him on in pursuit of glory at this year’s Paralympics in Tokyo.
In 2020 the Aberdonian is aiming to compete in track cycling at a third Paralympic Games in Japan in August and September.
The 35-year-old has three Paralympic medals – a gold won at London 2012 in the kilometre time trial and silvers in the sprint at those games and in the kilo at Rio in 2016.
However, Fachie is still targeting more in the new year. And if he doesn’t triumph in the kilo in Tokyo he says it will hurt for a long time after.
He said: “There is still the desire for me and it would mean so much to go to another Paralympics. I’ve still got the hunger to win medals.
“That’s partly because in London in 2012 I won gold and silver, but our closest rivals (Anthony Kappes and Craig MacLean) didn’t start the race because of an issue with their bike.
“I don’t think they would have won that day although there’s always an element of doubt.
“Then in Rio four years later we came away with silver, so I still have question marks from those games. While I won gold, there’s a feeling we didn’t quite win it outright and that we weren’t the undisputed champion.
“So that’s one of the reasons why I’m desperate to win in Tokyo and get the title back.
“It would be a huge thing to get the gold and if I do go to the games I’m not going for anything less than gold.
“It’s been the target since the minute I crossed the line in Rio – getting the gold back has always been in my thoughts since then.
“It’s a big year, but I’m in a good place and I’d rather be where I am than where my competitors are, because I definitely feel we’re in the driving seat.
“I do have unfinished business. I know it will be something that nags at me forever if i don’t get the gold and tick that box.
“There would always be something in the back of my head thinking ‘have you really done it?’ even though I’ve won a Paralympic gold.
“Getting gold in Tokyo has been what’s pushed me for the last three years so hopefully I can fulfil that ambition and we’ll see what happens after that.
“But I definitely feel there is unfinished business for me at the Paralympics.”
Before the Paralympics Fachie’s first aim in 2020 is to have a strong World Championships in Milton, Canada, in January and February.
He and pilot Matt Rotherham are looking for gold in the kilo and sprint as they try to secure their place in Tokyo.
Fachie and Rotherham’s closest rivals are fellow British pair James Ball and Lewis Stewart, but only one tandem may qualify for the Paralympics.
“We’re still looking at selection for Tokyo and we don’t know if two British tandem bikes will go to the games,” Fachie said.
“So the worlds is important because if you’re the best in the world you certainly give yourself a really good chance of going to Tokyo.
“If you’re the second British bike – even if you win the silver medal – your chances are a lot shakier.
“So we’re going out to win and put down a strong marker to show we’re still improving.
“I want to win the World Championships, but it really is about Tokyo and doing everything we can to make sure we’re at the Paralympics.”
Fachie admits it can be difficult to see team-mates and friends miss out on qualification for major events.
He said: “We’re competing against people in different disability classes and there are only so many places for the team as a whole.
“We might take the place of someone who could be winning medals in another class.
“You support your team-mates and want them to do well, but there is that part of you that thinks ‘if they do too well I might not get to go to the games’.
“There’s that side to it and it’s sad because there are people who almost certainly could win a medal that won’t go to the games.
“Sometimes it can be tense.”