WITH 48 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, the British Paralympic Association has confirmed that the 49 members of the ParalympicsGB team who will compete in Athletics in London will include T44 sprinter Jonnie Peacock, from Doddington.
In June 2012, Jonnie set a World Record in the T44 100m whilst competing at the US Paralympic Track and Field Trials.
He will make his Paralympic debut as part of a team which features a number of experienced track and field campaigners.
The team includes double Beijing gold medallist David Weir, Stephen Miller, three-time Paralympic gold medallist in the F32 Club Throw and Tracey Hinton, a double gold medallist in the T11 100m and 200m at the recent IPC Athletics European Championships, who celebrates her sixth Paralympic Games.
Craig Hunter, Chef de Mission of ParalympicsGB, said “The athletics announcement completes the line-up for ParalympicsGB for London 2012. This team has a promising balance of experience and new, up-and-coming talent and I can’t wait to see how they perform in London.”
UKA Head Coach Peter Eriksson said: “As you can see from our selection, we’ve made a lot of changes since Beijing where we finished 18th overall and that medal performance has been our benchmark for progress ever since.
“We had a hugely successful World Championships in January 2011 where we won 38 medals and finished third in the medal table. Now, in my third full year at UKA, we’re starting to see the gradual transition to a much more professional squad with a fantastic team spirit as well as having competent performers.
“Overall the strength and depth of the squad has improved and that’s a huge positive. We’ve seen a tremendous increase in the number of new athletes coming into the sport and in particular, those that we’ve been able to fast track from development through to international representation at junior and senior level, and that’s evident in this team – which means we’ve had to make some tough decisions.
“I’m confident we can do well and but we can’t underestimate the fact that every other nation will have stepped up their preparation and performance goals in this quickly evolving and fast-improving sport.”
The Athletics announcement is the final team announcement for ParalympicsGB and completes the line-up of British athletes who will compete for Great Britain and Northern Ireland at London 2012. In total, 288 athletes have been selected, alongside a further 13 team members, including sighted goalkeepers, tandem riders and guide runners.