Isaac Towers admits he is finally run out puff after a whirlwind season – but the wheelchair racer still had some energy left to grab gold at the Sainsbury’s 2014 School Games.
There were few among the 1,600 athletes that descended on Manchester to compete in 12 sports across four-action packed days with more pedigree than 15-year-old Towers.
He arrived having just last month soared to a silver and bronze medal at the IPC Athletics European Championships in Swansea as part of a gruelling four-race schedule.
But his efforts over the later part of the summer didn’t slow him down for the Sainsbury’s 2014 School Games as he won a multi-classification 800m by nearly 300 points.
And, among all his other achievements, Towers believes his hectic year has built up his stamina for the long road ahead with just two years to go until the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
“It was good. I would have liked to have won it outright as that’s always nice,” said Towers, who is T34 classified. “I’ve had a really busy month and I’m a little bit tired if I’m honest.
“It was good just to have a final blow out on the track this year and I’ve got a few road races to keep me busy over the winter.
“Building up my stamina is only going to help me in the future. This is all good experience and practice for what is hopefully a thing of the future. It’s all good fun really and it keeps me busy.”
Elsewhere in the track and field, Preston Harrier Edward Jeans won silver in the hammer while clubmate Jessica Swannack leapt to pole vault bronze with a best jump of 3.50m.
And Longridge High School pupil Millie Forrest also topped the podium, the 18-year-old throwing a personal best 7.24m in the ambulant shot put – and she says she can continue to raise the ceiling.
“I’m delighted with my gold medal – I didn’t expect it and it was just a great experience,” said Forrest. “I was targeting a personal best but I didn’t think I’d get a medal too.
“It’s great to achieve it in Manchester, close to where I live, and in lovely weather. My throwing went well – I was very consistent and to finish with my personal best was very good.
“My season has gone very well, I went to the World Junior Games and got a gold medal there too so I wanted to keep my winning performances going.”
The Sainsbury’s 2014 School Games, which is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, was held in venues across Manchester from 4-7 September 2014. Visit www.2014schoolgames.com for more information.