Bethany Woodward is setting the bar high for the Paralympics next summer as the Muswell Hill athlete targets three gold medals when London takes centre stage.

Woodward has already competed at the highest level, turning out at the Commonwealth Games before being crowned 400m world champion at the age of 18 in Christchurch, New Zealand, in January.

And with the Paralympics being held on home soil this time around, Woodward is looking to be one of the stars of the Games as she strives for gold in the T37 200m, 400m and T35-38 4X100m relay.

Woodward has Cerebral Palsy, with the disability affecting one side of her body, meaning she is categorised as T37 for the Paralympic events.

In her bid for gold next summer, she is in training five hours a day, six days a week and although her disability rarely hinders her training, she confessed it can, on occasion, hamper practice sessions.

“I have got it down the whole of my right side,” explained Woodward.

“You can turn up at the track and have a day when you are feeling drained and I have cramped up.”

She added: “I am in winter training now. We will head to South Africa in January for warm weather training for three weeks.”

That training camp will include both Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, although Woodward explained the squad would not be announced until July.

Citing her heroes as “all of the people who push themselves”, Woodward revealed she was looking to achieve success not just for personal satisfaction and glory, but in a bid to “inspire” others to push themselves and reach their full potential.

In order to do that herself, she faces a gruelling schedule when she takes to the track in Stratford but feels she will be up to the challenge.

“It will be five races in four days. It is going to be hectic but we are doing a lot of training to gear me up so I think I will be ok. I have done it before,” she explained.

“The World Championships and the Commonwealth Games gave me practice times for it. They helped me out a lot.”

Woodward described her experiences of the World Championships as “phenomenal” and is thrilled at the prospect of competing in the capital, acknowledging she would not be in contention had London been selected to stage the event four years earlier.

For now though, she is concentrating on her preparation as she bids for both personal success as well as looking to raise the profile of the Paralympics.

“It is amazing that it has come around. If it had been four years earlier, I wouldn’t have been competing as I would have been too young,” she continued.

“It would just be incredible (to win gold), especially with all of my friends and family there.

“Paralympics is going up in the world. With every cycle it grows more and more in people’s mindset. Getting a gold medal would give it a lot more coverage.”

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