Paralympic Games: Clegg hoping her partner will prove the key
Sprinter Libby Clegg hopes that the understanding she has built up over the past two years with guide runner Mikail Huggins can inspire her to Paralympic gold.
The 22-year-old from Langholm, a former pupil at the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh, will be looking to upgrade her Beijing silver when she competes in the T12 100 and 200 metres in London.
The Loughborough-based athlete has a deteriorating eye condition known as Stargardt’s disease, leaving her with only slight peripheral vision in her left eye. She is registered blind.
This will be the first Games in which tandem runners are also eligible for medals and Clegg, who has set personal bests over both distances this year, is looking to deliver them.
“Mikail and I run as a team. It’s like doing a three-legged race where you’re attached at the wrist rather than at the foot,” she said. “We have to have a lot of communication. It’s vital I have him – he is my eyes on the track. When I run I can’t really see anything. I don’t know whereabouts on the track I am. I can’t even see the finish line.
“We spend quite a lot of time with each other so it’s important we do get on. If we didn’t get on on a personal level then it could affect the way we run.”
Clegg, whose 18-year-old brother James is a member of the GB swimming team, won 100m gold and 200m bronze at the 2011 IPC World Championships in New Zealand. She took double gold at the European Championships in June and is now relishing the chance to compete in front of a home crowd.
“The Paralympics is coming back home to where it originated,” she added. “I actually didn’t ever think this would happen, really. It’s exciting and it’s a great honour to have been selected.
“I think it’s going to be completely different from anything I’ve experienced before in my life and probably will ever experience again.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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