The 24-year-old sealed 100-metres silver at the Beijing Paralympics – a feat made all the more impressive when Rushgrove reveals he was defying doctors’ advice and competing with two broken bones in his foot.
At the 2011 IPC World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand, again Rushgrove battled through the pain barrier with knee trouble to seal 100m silver and 200m bronze.
This season however, he has a clean bill of health and believes that, combined with a home crowd, can spur him to the top of the London 2012 podium – and he’s vowed to prove his form at the BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester in May.
“Training’s going well at the moment, everything’s going according to plan as it were,” said Rushgrove. “I don’t think I’m ever going to be happy with the times I’m going to be getting at this point – we always want to go faster but I don’t seem to be doing too badly at the moment.
“From my perspective though, it’s more about putting together some fairly consistent performances without any major injuries. One of my big problems in previous years during the build up to major competitions has been injury.
“In Beijing I had two broken bones in my foot, for the World Championships I had problems with my knees so there’s always been these little niggles, these little things that haven’t quite worked out the way we think they’re going to.
“So this year for me it’s more about making sure we’re going to be getting a good year in where we’re not going to be injured much and that’ll put us in the best possible position for London.”
Rushgrove has fond memories of competing at the Paralympic World Cup, scooping 100m and 200m gold in 2007 and repeating the trick in the shorter event in 2009.
Last season however, he could only manage fifth over 100m but with a home crowd set to be out in force in Manchester, as well as at London 2012, he’s convinced he can top the pile.
“Obviously the home crowd element of this year is going to be fantastic,” he added. “I don’t think you can underestimate the importance of home crowd.
“There are a lot of people who say the home crowd won’t matter but you’ll be amazed. When I was in China and a Chinese athlete was announced, no matter if they were medal contenders or non-medal contenders, whether it was the heats, the finals, the whole stadium would just erupt.
“And in London it’s going to be like that when every British athlete is announced. I think that is an amazing feeling to have and I think the team will do really well and therefore I think that will create a real kind of buzz with the fans and the spectators and so on.”
The BT Paralympic World Cup is taking place in Manchester from 22-26 May with elite international athletes competing in Athletics, Football 7-aside and Wheelchair Basketball.