Track Cycling

Aberdeen track cycling legend Neil Fachie planning ahead for Paralympics in 2021 – Press and Journal

Neil Fachie is already planning for next year’s Paralympics.

The Aberdonian and pilot Matt Rotherham were set to compete in the games in Tokyo this summer.

The duo were are the world’s best in the 1 kilometre tandem time trial after World Championship success at the start of the year.

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the Olympics and Paralympics being rescheduled for the summer of 2021.

The postponed was no surprise for Fachie, but he’s already determined to still be leading the way in his event a year later than planned.

The 36-year-old said: “In the week leading up to the decision every time my phone buzzed I was expecting it to be the announcement (postponing the Olympics and Paralympics).

“We had started to think that it would be postponed, but before it was we had to keep our plans in place just in case.

“If it was going ahead this year it would be really challenging because a lot of the work we need to be doing is really specific on track stuff.

“Whereas the general fitness stuff we’re doing at home just now isn’t quite so important so it would be a lot more stressful if it was going ahead.

“But equally it’s disappointing because we felt ready to race and when you’re leading the way you just want to do it.

“You don’t want others to have time to catch up and another year brings an element of uncertainty.

Neil Fachie (right) and Matt Rotherham celebrate Paralympic gold in 2018. Photo by Jeff Holmes/Shutterstock.

“We’ve already started the whole planning process and started moving blocks of training around and having a rethink.

“It’s not happening this year so we just have to get the head down and do the work.”

Fachie expects the qualification process to start again next year.

Given his age some have pondered whether he may have retired this year after the Paralympics.

Even though the games have been pushed back a year Fachie is full committed to competing in Tokyo.

He added: “There’s question marks over the calendar but we’re assuming we’ll have races at some point before Tokyo where we’ll have to prove ourselves again.
“There will be changes, it won’t remain the same for the next 16 months so we’ve just got to keep ahead of everyone in the world for that time.

“I wasn’t pondering about the future but when Tokyo gets pushed back that it means I’m committed for another year.

“It would be stupid to walk away at this stage when we’re leading the way and there’s only a year to go. I’ve got no intention of walking away at this stage.”