© Len Wagg, Communications Nova Scotia
Weston-native Ben Brown pushes ahead during the 200M wheelchair B Final at the Canada Games in Sherbrooke, Que.
By John DeCoste
Among the athletes who represented Kings County last week at the Canada Games, Ben Brown is somewhat unique in that this was his third Canada Games as a participant.
The Weston-native attended the 2009 Summer Games in P.E.I. in wheelchair racing and the 2011 Winter Games in Halifax in the sport of wheelchair basketball. Brown competed in the 200- and 400-metre wheelchair races in Sherbrooke, placing fifth in both events.
“I really think this was the best of my three Games,” the 24-year-old said. “The first time was a learning experience. Two years ago, I was a sub player in basketball, and didn’t get to play much.
“This time, it was strictly business. I was really motivated, and I had expectations, which is maybe why I’m a bit disappointed.
“I’m super happy with the 400,” Brown said. “(I) finished in a personal best time and set a new provincial record.”
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He said wasn’t quite as happy with fifth in the 200, in which he admitted he was “hoping for a medal and didn’t get it.”
The heats “things didn’t go quite as I had planned,” Brown said, but he qualified for the final where he encountered strong winds.
“The gold and silver medals (in both events) were fairly predictable. I felt I had a good shot at bronze in the 200, but it didn’t work out.”
Despite initial disappointment, by Aug. 19, Brown was starting to come to terms with his results.
“It’s still disappointing, but my goal for the 400 going in was to finish top-five, and I did that. In the 200 I was two bad strokes away from a bronze medal.
“I gave it the best shot I could, I achieved three of my five goals going in and I now know what I have to do to get better,” he added. “It’ll eventually kick in just how special it was.”
I gave it the best shot I could, I achieved three of my five goals going in and I now know what I have to do to get better. It’ll eventually kick in just how special it was. Ben Brown
The Games’ performance was a culmination of a strong season full of personal bests.
“I’d love to have finished my Canada Games career with a medal, but considering I was 10th in the 400 and 11th in the 200 four years ago, I guess I’m happy overall.”
Brown came out of the Games energized to continue his racing career with his sights on the 2015 Para Pan-Am Games and world championships and the 2016 Paralympics.
With the coaching he has and the added assistance of a sport psychologist, Brown said he feels his career is in good shape. During the next year, he said, he will “ be working on stability on the curve in the 200 – for some reason, the curve in the 400 isn’t a problem – and I’ll also be looking to improve my starts and my overall intensity, in all my races.”