David Behre: “I want to be World Champion again!”


Sports & sponsorship, 06.07.2017

The World Para Athletics Championships start in London on 14 July. Competing again this year will be ERGO’s Accident Ambassador David Behre. We visited the sprinter in his final preparation phase.

It will be the athletics high point of this year for David Behre: the World Para Athletics Championships in London (14 to 23 July). The 30-year old is the reigning World Champion in the 400 metres but has been fighting injury time and time again in recent months. However, the ERGO Accident Ambassador does not want to miss out on taking part in his fifth World Championships. The sprinter is intensively preparing for the championships in Leverkusen. In an interview, David Behre discusses his plans for the World Championships and explains what really drives him before a race.

David, the Athletics World Championships in London are fast approaching. Naturally the most important question is: have you regained your fitness after your torn muscle fibres in the spring?
David Behre: Regrettably I’m not yet 100% fit again. But we have decided that I will fly to London and see how things are there. My times are very good. But the season has been really complicated with lots of injuries and you simply don’t know what will happen at such a big event when you give your muscles full power. Despite this, the World Championships always gets adrenaline flowing around the body which allows me to push myself to the limit.

To what extent have the injuries hampered your preparation? Was there ever a risk that you might not be able to compete in the World Championships?
The World Championships were certainly at risk. I have not competed this year at all as I was injured. But I’m in a good way now. Everything just has to hold together. The muscle tears meant that I had to cut down on my preparations. I had to do a lot of alternative training: aqua jogging, spinning and strength training. Running had to take a back seat. But before the Paralympics in Rio I also had two months during which I was unable to train properly due to venal inflammation. But it’s a well-known fact that it all ended well in the end.

You were the most successful German athlete at the Paralympics in Rio and had really good form. Have you been able to carry over this form into 2017?
The major event in Rio was mid- to end of September 2016. The next major event after that is the World Championships ten months later. That makes preparation really tough. I very much hope that when I enter the packed stadium in London that it will unleash even more power in me and that I will be carried to the finish line on a wave of euphoria.


At the last World Championships in Qatar in 2015 you won gold in the 400 metres. Is it your aim this time to defend your title?
Yes that’s my aim. As world champion over 400 metres, I’m going to London to win. I was second last year at the Paralympics in Rio. The winner in Rio is not going to the World Championships because he is injured. I’m going to London with the fastest time. I’ll be using that to defend my title. I very much hope that I’ll come out on top at the end.

Do you have certain rituals that you always do before competitions?
I always listen to music before a competition. For instance, I listened to Eminem at the World Championships in Qatar. In Rio it was Papa Roach, so always something rocky and hard, which then drives me on. I need that when I am preparing for a fast run. Music helps me to build up my emotions.

Are we currently seeing the best David Behre? Or is there still more to come?
Naturally you can always achieve more. The Paralympics in Rio were really very successful. As a sportsman, I would naturally like to improve. But I don’t know if that will be possible. I’m also preparing for my future after sport. After all, I know that my sporting career will not be infinite. But I hope to continue up to the Paralympics in Tokyo in 2020 and finish there with success.

Thank you. We wish you every success at the World Championships in London! 

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