Ali Jawad: No more excuses post-London 2012

British powerlifter Ali Jawad explains why his Crohn’s disease can’t be an excuse for missing out on gold anymore.

Ali Jawad Great Britain's Ali Jawad reacts after making a successful lift in the men's -56 kg event at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. © • Getty Images
By Ali Jawad

It’s a date that will always haunt me. It’s also a date that I can look back on in 20 years and say I left everything on the platform and I had nothing more to give, as external circumstances denied me a medal.

Well, it’s a year on from London 2012, and the heartbreak of 31 August 2012.

It’s a date that will always haunt me. It’s also a date that I can look back on in 20 years and say I left everything on the platform and I had nothing more to give, as external circumstances denied me a medal.

However, I’ve learned so much from the experience, it was great being part of such high drama.

After the Games, I knew I had to look toward the future and try to reach the potential I am capable of.

However, I had a relapse of my Crohn’s disease in November 2012, having tried different medications to try control it nothing seemed to be working.

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to one’s bottom, causing a wide variety of symptoms.

I started training again properly in January for the IPC Powerlifting Open European Championships in Aleksin, Russia.

However, due to the medications I kept having complications and training wasn’t as consistent as I wanted it to be.

The lead-up to the Europeans was a nightmare. Going into the Europeans, I was at my lightest, and the weakest I’ve been for a long time.

I didn’t expect much, and I had to be very realistic. However, I ended up with a bronze medal, and incredibly 3kg away from the gold medal.

It wasn’t my best performance technically and I didn’t execute properly.

Even though, it was my first senior major medal, I felt disappointed and couldn’t help thinking that if it wasn’t for my constant fight with Crohn’s I would have won by a very large margin.

Nevertheless, it taught me that if I really wanted to be competitive for a gold medal at Rio 2016, I needed to put everything in place for in order to limit my Crohn’s.

Crohn’s can’t be my excuse for missing out on gold anymore.

After my arrival, I went to see my consultant to try resolving this issue.

He suggested that I have fortnightly injections.

It’s something I’ve never tried before, but at this stage I was just desperate for the Crohn’s to calm down so I could train properly.

I’ve been taking the injections for eight weeks now, and I can say I’m back to full health and training has been incredible.

I’m back to the shape I was at London 2012, and I can’t wait to be competing next at the IPC Powerlifting Asian Open Championships in Malaysia in November.

Hopefully, I can put down a marker for the World Championships next year in April.

It was a great honour being asked to blog for IPC Powerlifting, and I look forward to sharing my journey with everyone in the lead-up to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.