HAZEL Robson insists she is itching to get into action at the International Paralympic Committee World Championships in New Zealand as she looks to add to her already-bulging trophy cabinet.
The 31-year-old from Houghton, has been made to wait to rekindle her rivalries with the world’s best, with the international athletics calendar having no major events since the Beijing Paralympics in 2008.
Robson claimed double bronze (100 and 200m) in China and is no stranger to the world championship podium, picking up five medals across the last three events.
Add to this, two trips on to the European Championship podium and Robson could be forgiven if her medal-winning desire had gone south.
However, the Jarrow and Hebburn AC ace insists that is anything but the case.
“I don’t usually do a lot of competitions in January so this one is very new to me, but to be honest I am just really itching to get out there,” said Robson, who has been fine-tuning her preparations for the championships at a warm-weather Aviva-funded preparation camp in Auckland.
“I am feeling good. My training has gone well and I just can’t wait to get out there and race.
“This competition is really the one I have been looking towards and one I have been working towards since the Beijing Paralympics.
“It was the next really big competition and I have been working really hard to get here, training all day and all night and it has paid off and I just can’t wait to start racing.
“I haven’t set myself any medal targets but I want to go out there and run a personal best.
“That is what I am keeping my fingers crossed for and hopefully I can do that.
“Being selected for the Aviva GB and NI team is the ultimate stepping stone for me towards my dream of winning gold at London 2012.”
Robson will be busy in Christchurch, racing in the 100 and 200m as well as the relay.
The 31-year-old is well aware of the competition with Chinese athlete Wang Fang, who beat Robson to the gold in both the 100 and 200m showdowns on her home soil, her main competitor.
But despite Fang’s Beijing heroics, Robson believes she will have the edge in the Garden City.
“I think my main rival as usual will be Fang, but I am not as worried about her as I have been in recent competitions,” added Robson.
“I know she has beaten me before, but I feel as though in the last year or so I have really improved and closed the gap on her.
“I think I have the edge on her now because in the last year me and my coach Janice Kaufman have really stepped up my training regime and also all my nutrition.
“So this time I think I have what it takes to beat Wang Fang and hopefully I will do it.
“The warm-weather camp has gone well and they are a great part of my preparation for major championships because they give you that extra edge to go out and win medals.”
H Aviva has been supporting British athletes since 1999. To find out more about Aviva’s athletics sponsorship, go to aviva.co.uk/athletics