LAUREN Booth brought the curtain down on 2013 by setting a new world record, but the Newport Velo Club track cyclist believes she can go even faster this year.
The first weekend of December saw Booth compete on her home track at the Newport International Para Youth Omnium Challenge, rubbing shoulders with some of Great Britain’s biggest names.
But the youngster, who celebrates her 13th birthday today, didn’t let it phase her as she won the youth Omnium, breaking the women’s C4 flying 200m world record that had stood for more than a decade in the process as she crossed the line in 15.129 seconds.
That result put Booth on the map as a potential to compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, earning the youngster selection as an SSE Next Generation athlete in the process.
But she insists she is not thinking about anything else just yet, except for lowering her world record even further.
“I have been doing track cycling since I was seven and my highlight was doing a flying 200 in December last year where I broke the world record,” said Booth, who suffers with cerebral palsy after contracting meningitis as a baby.
“My family didn’t know it was a world record at the time and I said to my mum before that I was hoping to come third, not first.
“My coach always says that I should try and get 15 seconds and then I was practicing and got 14 seconds which was great.
“That has given me loads of confidence and my aim this year is to beat my world record again.”
Despite breaking the 200m flying world record being top of Booth’s agenda, the Newport Velo Youth Cycling Club member can’t help but dream big.
And she insists that her recent exploits have given her new-found belief that she can make it big in Japan in six years time.
“”It is great to be on the SSE Next Generation scheme and it is a really big confidence boost,” said Booth, who will receive funding and also advice from the likes of cyclist Sir Chris Hoy and diver Leon Taylor.
“The long aim is to go to Tokyo for the 2020 Paralympics. Hopefully being part of this scheme will help me achieve my goals.
“I am more confident that I can do it now after breaking the world record. It would be amazing to do that again.”
SSE are partnering with SportsAid to support the sporting stars of the future as part of their commitment to Glasgow 2014 and beyond with their SSE Next Generation ambassador programme. Keep up to date with the latest @YourSSE