Paralympic athletics team finalised

The final seven athletes on the Australian Paralympic Athletics Team were announced today, completing the nation’s largest ever overseas Paralympic Team.

The Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) endorsed the seven remaining track and field athletes, bringing the total Athletics team to 43 – the largest of the 13 sports Australia will contest at the Games.

With the seven outstanding spots now finalised with the close of athletics appeals, the 2012 Australian Paralympic Team will officially become Australia’s largest away team with 161 athletes and 143 officials.

“We are thrilled to finally confirm the names of every member of the Australian Paralympic Team,” said APC Chief Executive and 2012 Team Chef de Mission, Jason Hellwig.

“Congratulations to the final seven athletes named on the team, who are the newest members of what is the strongest team Australia has ever put together for a Paralympic Games.

“London promises to be something special, not only because of the athletes on show and the performances that the Australian team is capable of, but because of the way the world has embraced the Paralympic Games. Paralympic sport is about to take another giant leap forward.”

The final athletics team now boasts Australia’s most successful Paralympian Tim Sullivan, who will carry his formidable record of 10 Paralympic gold medals into his fourth consecutive Games, while shot putter Hamish MacDonald will line up for his sixth Paralympics and fellow thrower Brydee Moore will return for her second after making her Paralympic debut in Beijing 2008.

Seventeen-year-old wheelchair racer Nathan Arkley and 22-year-old Sam McIntosh are set to make their Paralympic debuts on the track as part of the 13 strong wheelchair track and road contingent led by wheelchair marathon legend Kurt Fearnley.

McIntosh posted impressive times at last year’s IPC Athletics World Championships while London will be the first major international competition for Arkley, who took out the junior division of the Oz Day 10km race in Sydney earlier this year.

Leg amputee Michelle Errichiello will also make her Paralympic debut in the 100m and long jump where she will face former training partner, compatriot and current world champion Kelly Cartwright while cerebral palsy sprinter Torita Isaac has recovered from 11 bone fractures in her legs to earn her place on the team.

The bulk of the athletics team will base its pre-Games training in Cardiff as part of the APC’s staging camp while the wheelchair track and road squad will train in Switzerland prior to the Games.

The London 2012 Paralympic Games begin 29 August – 9 September 2012 and will be broadcast in Australia on ABC1 and ABC2.

By APC Media

Posted 17/07/2012

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