After a miraculous recovery from a career threatening injury, high jumper Robbie Grabarz, who trained in the East End, is now eyeing further success on the world stage.
The Newham and Essex Beagle was on cloud nine when he won bronze at London 2012 but he was then hit by a tendon problem in his left knee and had to undergo surgery in 2014.
The setback sidelined Robbie for 18 months, leaving him unable to defend his European title in Zurich two years ago.
But at the World Indoor Championships in March, Robbie cleared 2.33m to earn silver, lauded as the best result in a disappointing tournament for British athletes.
Speaking at the recent ticket launch for the IAAF World Championships London 2017, Robbie said: “It was really sad having to take all that time off. All I could do was sit at home and it was a struggle. It was a very long 18 months. I had been on such a high and then to go from that to doing absolutely nothing was very difficult and depressing.
“There were points where I didn’t think I would ever get back to competing, but I have and it took a lot of hard work. I trained hard to get back to full fitness and when I won that silver medal, it was such a rewarding feeling.”
Robbie hopes to emulate his achievements at this summer’s Olympics in Rio and at next year’s IAAF World Championships at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where entry will cost £20.
The 28-year-old was particularly looking forward to returning to the scene of his bronze medal win to compete in front of his home crowd once again.
“It was really exciting to win a medal at my home Olympics. Not everyone gets that opportunity and I knew I could not waste it. I did everything I could to earn that opportunity and I was rewarded for it.
“The chance to perform in front of my home fans was just incredible. Getting cheers during my warm up was great because I could tell that everyone was willing me to do well.
“Having another home competition is incredibly exciting and I hope to do as well as I did in 2012, if not better. I never turn up to a competition not wanting to win and I will do everything to make sure that happens.”
Robbie was one of three sporting stars who launched the tickets and schedule for the IAAF, International Association of Athletics Federations, and ParaAthletics World Championships.
Gold medallist Sally Gunnell and parasport athlete Georgina Hermitage were the other two athletes at the event on Tuesday, April 19.
One and a half million tickets for the tournaments will go on sale on Monday, August 1, with the IAAF championship tickets costing £20 and the ParaAthletics £10. Child prices for all sessions across both tournaments will be under £10.