Feeling the warmth of a home crowd has helped prepare Croydon’s Thomas Young for the pressure cooker of this week’s World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai.

The 19-year-old burst onto the scene with double T38 gold at last summer’s European Championships in Berlin, fuelling expectation of a podium challenge on the world stage.

Young competed at the Birmingham edition of athletics’ Diamond League, a collection of the leading meets in the world, in front of a bumper crowd and felt the experience has made him stronger.

“I really enjoyed Birmingham because it was my first big competition in front of a big crowd,” said the teenager, who clocked 11.37s to claim victory at the Alexander Stadium.

“The support really helped me and pushed me down the home straight. British fans really support and really shout you on.

“You know you’ve got fans at home backing you and fans in the stadium supporting, so you’ve got backing from all over the country.

“I’ve learnt a lot this year. I’ve run heats and finals which teaches you what’s needed to compete at a Championship and hopefully I can learn a lot from Dubai too.”

Young is based at Loughborough, competing for Charnwood Athletics Club and training alongside Paralympic champions in Sophie Hahn and Libby Clegg.

He’s coached by Joseph McDonnell, favoured by some of Britain’s best young athletes. He led Midlands-born Amy Hunt to becoming the world’s fastest under-18 female runner over 200m.

“It’s a good group to go into,” said Young of his training stable.

“When I first joined, you walked into a group of Paralympic champions but they were really friendly and they’ve helped me progressed.

“We still train in a club group, we have elite athletes like Libby and Sophie but we still train with club sprinters. It’s nice, we all have one goal to work towards.”

Young is ranked third in the world, behind Brazilian Paralympic bronze medallist Edson Pinheiro and five-time Paralympic champion Evan O’Hanlon.

The youngster, who runs 100m in 11.25s and 200m in 23.61s, believes getting out of the blocks quickly will be the key to his hopes of reaching the rostrum.

“In Tokyo, I’ll be racing the same people so if I can put my name on the podium, I’ll be a major contender,” said Young.

“It’s a competitive event. I believe if I can make my start really quick and snappy, anything can happen.

“You don’t know how people are going to run on the day, I’m just going to focus on running the best I ever have.”

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