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Team GB Paralympic Athletes - the Lucky Seven

Last week, Team GB added another seven athletes to their squad after the decision from the International Paralympic Committee to withdraw Russia’s membership. This opened up further competition places for various nations. The lucky additions are the following

  • Crystal Lane – Cycling, C5 Road & T­­rack
  • James Ball (pilot – Craig MacLean) – Cycling, B Road & Track
  • Natalie Greenhough – Judo, Women’s -70kg
  • Tim Jeffery – Shooting, R5
  • Ashley Facey-Thompson – Table Tennis, Class 9 Individual & 9-10 Team (with Kim Daybell)
  • Gemma Collis – Wheelchair Fencing, Women’s Class A Epee

So what do we know about these athletes?

Crystal Lane was inspired by the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, and therefore applied to the Paralympics Potential program. In December 2010, Crystal joined GB Cycling. She made her debut at the World Championships, winning bronze in the road race and coming 9th in the time trial. She was included in Team GB’s squad at London in 2012 but failed to medal. But since the London games, she has continued to improve, with bronze (scratch race) and silver (time trial) medals in the 2015 World Championships, and bronze in the time trial in the 2016 World Championships.

James Ball is attending the Rio 2016 games after an injury prevented him competing in the London 2012 games. Back then he was a sprinter in the athletics but he suffered a grade 3 hamstring tear before London, and in 2015, further injuries left him unsure as to his future. He switched sports 12 months ago after being spotted by British Cycling, and quickly earnt himself a spot in the world class program. In 2016, he won bronze in the Tandem B Sprint at the World Championships.

Natalie Greenhough will be Team GB’s sole female athlete in the Judo. She joined Team GB’s squad in 2014 after an impressive Junior World Championships (winning gold in 2013). Since then she has a gold and bronze to add to her collection in the senior squad.

Tim Jeffery has had the long term goal of becoming a Paralympic athlete since the age of 11. He splits his training between the Team GB center in Stoke Mandeville, and at this home – He has been known to set up targets in his conservatory and take aim in his living room. After having his left hand amputated, he was told that he would not be a success at shooting, which spurred him on. His previous medal glory was at the 2015 World Cup in Stoke Mandeville by winning Gold.

Ashley Facey-Thompson made his debut in 2009 and has since risen up the rakings. He narrowly missed out on selection for the 2012 games in London. But in 2013, Ashley won a trio of bronze medals, and in 2014 won his first national title. He also has a degree in sports coaching to keep him busy.

And finally, Gemma Collis started out (as many) playing a variety of different sports – most noticeably hockey and athletics. But in 2008, she was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome. After volunteering, coaching and officiating in different sports, she began playing wheelchair basketball in 2010. But she went on to wheelchair fencing and gained a spot in the squad for London 2012. After a spell of illness in 2013, she returned to sport in 2014 winning 2 bronze medals. Now heading to Rio 2016, she aims to add to her medal tally.

To find out more information on how you can get involved in disability sport in your area, head to http://parasport.org.uk/find-a-club.

 

Team GB events Wednesday 10thth August

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