ParalympicsGB today received nominations from UK Athletics for thirty-five athletes for the British team at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.
Following two incredibly successful years of international competition, wheelchair racer Shelly Woods (Blackpool & Fylde), look set to contest events in Beijing including the marathon distance.
Visually impaired athlete Tracey Hinton was the first British female athlete to compete in the infamous Bird’s Nest stadium at the Beijing Open Test event last month. Tracey Hinton will be competing in her fifth Paralympic Games, aiming to add to her collection of six medals.
Talented junior athletes will potentially be making their Paralympic debut with their sights set on London 2012: Hollie Arnold, 13 (Cleethorpes AC), Rebecca Chin, 16 (Deeside/ FDSW), Katharine Deal, 16 (Shaftesbury Barnet), Libby Clegg, 18 (Border Harriers/ Edinburgh Woollen Mill), Iand Katrina Hart, 18 (Birchfield Harriers).
UK Athletics Director of Disability, Tim Jones said:
“We are pleased to be able to nominate such a strong team for Beijing, which is a real blend of both youth and experience. Over half of the nominated team are set to make their debut at the Paralympic Games, in particular 8 of the 14 female athletes. As we look beyond Beijing, the ability to nurture athletes who will be able to perform in London is of paramount importance. Having the ability to expose some of these athletes in Beijing will provide them with a fantastic learning experience.
“UK Athletics set some tough qualifying standards to ensure a high quality team, and it is testament to the determination and talent of our athletes that these were achieved and exceeded.
“It is important that a large majority of the travelling team is capable of winning medals, and we are confident that this will be the case in Beijing. We all know that the Paralympics will be the real test, but we believe the ParalympicsGB athletics team is exceptionally well prepared for the challenge ahead.”
ParalympicsGB Chief Executive and Chef De Mission for Beijing, Phil Lane, said: “With the tough qualification standards set by UK Athletics it is fantastic to see so many talented youngsters among this nominated squad for Beijing, who will no doubt be exciting prospects in London in 2012.
“I am also delighted that there are so many Paralympic and world championship medallists among this squad, which puts us in good stead ahead of this summer’s Games.”
The Female Athletics squad nominated to ParalympicsGB comprises:
Hollie Arnold (Cleethorpes Athletics Club) F46 Javelin
Rebecca Chin (FDSW / Deeside AC) F44 Shot, Discus
Lives: Deganwy, North Wales
Elizabeth Clegg (Border Harriers AC/ Edinburgh Woollen Mill) T12 100m, 200m
Katherine Deal (Shaftesbury Barnet) T13 400m, 800m, 1500m
Lives: St Albans
Sophie Hancock (Horwich Harriers) F40 Shot, Discus
Katrina Hart (Birchfield Harriers) T37 100m, 200m
Tracey Hinton (Cardiff AAC/ British Blind Sport) T11 100m, 200m, 400m
Beverley Jones (West Cheshire AC) F37 Shot, Discus
Kim Minett (City of Portsmouth) F40 Shot
Gemma Prescott (Challenge Disability Sports) F32 Shot, Discus
Hazel Simpson (Jarrow & Hepburn) T36 100m, 200m
Claire Williams (Carmarthen Harriers) F12 Discus
Shelly Woods (Blackpool & Fylde) T54 800m, 1500m, 5000m, Marathon
Another place to be confirmed pending fitness testing and competitive results over the weekend.
The Paralympic classification for athletics is as follows;
F is for Field athlete
T is for Track athlete
The number refers to the functional classification:
T/F 11-13 Visual Impairment
T/F 31-38 Cerebral Palsy
T/F 41-46 Amputees and Les Autres
T51-54 Wheelchair Racers
T51-58 Seated Field athletes
– but the sailors praise the new boats