World champion Deon Kenzie returns home

New additions: Deon Kenzie with his gold and silver medals from the World Para-Athletic Championships in London. Picture: Cordell Richardson.
New additions: Deon Kenzie with his gold and silver medals from the World Para-Athletic Championships in London. Picture: Cordell Richardson.

In an ominous warning to his opponents three years out from the Tokyo Paralympics, newly-minted world champion Deon Kenzie believes he still has plenty of scope for improvement.

The 21-year-old is back home in the quiet town of Forth, a long way removed from the hustle and bustle of London where he finally broke his major championship duck with gold in T38 1500 metre final last month in a time of 4:06.68.

Paralympic gold is now the only thing missing from Kenzie’s impressive list of international achievements, and he has already set some goals at what sort of times he will need to be regularly running to stand atop the medal dais.

“The long-term goal is definitely that Paralympic gold,” Kenzie said.

“I’d like to think that the event is continuing to improve and looking at the field now compared to Doha (2015 world championships) and Rio, it keeps on developing and that’s one of the beautiful things about Paralympic running.

“For myself, I think a time of sub-four minutes is on the cards next season and by Tokyo, who knows, maybe something closer to 3:50 would be nice.”

After an encouraging silver medal in 800m final earlier in the program, Kenzie took a great deal of confidence into his preferred 1500m final.

He believes that came from a mix of his high-altitude training in the lead-up, along with race plan devised with coach Mick Gunson.

“I woke up on the morning of the final and had that strange feeling like I was going to win, and I told myself I was going to be a world champion that night,” Kenzie said.