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Prendergast considers triathlon at Rio Paras

Published: 6:36PM Sunday September 09, 2012 Source: ONE Sport

  • Tim Prendergast reflects on his Paralympics 800m performance (Source: Photosport)
    Tim Prendergast reflects on his Paralympics 800m performance - Source: Photosport

Four Paralympic Games might not be enough to satisfy Kiwi middle distance runner Tim Prendergast.

The 33-year-old finished fifth in his T13 800m final today in a personal best time of 1m 55.85s and as the former Wellington College student gasped for air, he announced that attending Rio is a strong possibility, but probably not on the track.

"I've placed more emphasis on the 1500 this year and not having the speed of a 25-year-old Tim any more, I'm just not able to foot it with those guys."

The gold medal was won by Abdellatif Baka of Algeria - 15 years younger than Prendergast - in 1m 53.01s.

"I'm really liking the look of Para Tri [paralympic triathlon], which will be a new sport for Rio. I know I'm pretty strong over the 5k, and I can hopefully improve on my swimming and stuff.

"Now just looking to see if there's any former athletes that want to be my guide and my pilot - certainly put your hands up, I'll be keen to work with you towards a gold in Rio."

Prendergast will also have his time taken up with things other than the track over the next few years, with wife Laura due to produce their first baby in March. But he says there will always be time for sport.

"I know lots of athletes that have managed to strike that balance with a young one, and it might even add a little bit of inspiration and a new perspective on things going forward."

All three medallists in the his 800m race finished within 0.39s.

Prendergast intends staying in the UK, where he's lived for the past six years with Lisa and works as an inspirational speaker, but hasn't ruled out returning to New Zealand in the near future.

Holly Robinson, who sat and watched Prendergast's race, summed up her Paralympic debut as a massive learning experience and is also committed to Rio.

"Speed work and more gym work between now and then will help me with where I need to get to," said the 17-year-old javelin thrower. "We're also looking at what other events I can add to my programme."

The now-Mosgiel resident was named West Coast Sportsperson of the Year last weekend, and is hoping that can become a regular occurrence.

"I've picked up four metres in a year and to be in the medals, I need to be around 40 metres, so that should be achievable over the next four years."