BT PWC 2012: Smith wants more British outings after bronze in Manchester
WHEELCHAIR racer Will Smith admits he has got the taste for representing Great Britain after picking up bronze at the BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester.
ON THE RISE: Will Smith won bronze representing Britain at the BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester
The 16-year-old was one of the youngest members of the British team at the Manchester Regional Arena but clearly wasn't daunted by the 5,000-strong crowd in attendance.
Smith got his World Cup campaign off to a perfect start after finishing third in the 400m in 54.56 seconds before following that up with fifth in the 100m in 16.22.
And, while Smith admits his hopes of reaching this summer's Paralympics remain slim, he is confident the future is bright looking beyond London 2012.
"The conditions were pretty good and it was a strong field so it was great to compete in front of the crowd that was there," said Smith.
"I did the 100m and 400m even though I normally do the 800m and 1500m, but it was just good to get out there and race.
"London might have come too soon for me because of my age. I'm making that transition between the boy and the man now so it's just a little bit too early, I think.
"There was no particular reason that I went for the sprints, it's just what you get selected for. I'm only 16 so the field in the 800m and the 1500m would just be too strong for me.
"I was in Switzerland last weekend for the Daniela Jutzeler Memorial, I flew back to England the night before the Paralympic World Cup, so it was been pretty busy.
"But preparations went really well. Training had been going pretty good leading up to the World Cup and I have been enjoying everything I have been doing."
Smith, a member of City of Norwich AC, would need to considerably lower his personal bests in order to reach this summer's Paralympics in less than 100 days.
But with the objective of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in two years time, followed by the 2016 Rio Games, Smith insists missing out on London would not be the end of the world.
He added: "I don't really know what the plan is after this. I'm just outside the standards for the Paralympics.
"Hopefully I can make the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the next Paralympics in Rio. But for now I'll just see what the season brings me."
The BT Paralympic World Cup is taking place in Manchester from 22-26 May with elite international athletes competing in Athletics, Football 7-aside and Wheelchair Basketball. Go to www.btparalympicworldcup.com for tickets and more information
© Sportsbeat 2012