27 Scottish athletes set to compete for glory at Paralympics
THERE are 27 Scots taking part in the Paralympics, with many expected to make it to the podium. Among the favourites are:
• SEAN FRASER (Swimming): Sean, of Edinburgh, who has cerebral palsy, won bronze in the 100 metres backstroke at the last Paralympic Games. He also clinched silver in the 100m freestyle at the last Commonwealth Games.
• LIBBY CLEGG (Athletics): Twenty-two-year-old Libby, of the Borders, is a Paralympic silver medallist and World Champion gold medallist. She suffers from a deteriorating eye condition known as Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy disease. Libby has only slight peripheral vision in her left eye, and is registered blind.
• FIONA DUNCAN (Cycling): The police officer from Aberdeen will pilot a racing tandem bike in the road and track cycling events for blind racing partner athlete Lora Turnham from Liverpool. The pair have been training together for 18 months.
• PETER and STEPHEN McGUIRE (Boccia – a bowls-like sport specifically designed for wheelchair athletes): The brothers, of Hamilton, have won titles at British, European and world level. Stephen got involved in the sport first and recruited his brother when he needed a partner for a pairs competition. Peter, who is two years older, has muscular dystrophy.
• KATE MURRAY (Archery): Kate, from the Borders, took up archery a decade ago after an accident which affected her nerves and left her with limited mobility. Her team starts competing on 30 August – Kate’s 64th birthday.
• MIKE KERR (Wheelchair Rugby): Full-time athlete Mike discovered wheelchair rugby a year after being paralysed in a diving accident on holiday in 2000. He took part in the Olympic torch relay in Rutherglen in June. He lives in Glasgow, trains in London and play for the Bulls in Middlesbrough.
• NEIL FACHIE (Cycling): Originally a track athlete, Neil, of Aberdeen, took up cycling when his sight began to deteriorate due to a degenerative eye disorder. He competes in a pairs event and could be piloted by former world champion Craig MacLean.
THE Scots athletes have been praised by sports officials who say the London crowds could help cheer them on to victory.
Mike Whittingham, director of high performance at the sportscotland institute of sport, said: “Scots have a great track record in the Paralympics and we wish our 27 athletes every success for the London Games.
“I’m confident the Scots in the team can perform well and will be inspired by how successful Team GB was recently in the Olympics. I’m sure that London will, once again, put on a great show, and the team will be inspired by a passionate, home crowd.”
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