A look ahead to the IPC Athletics European Championships in Swansea
Fresh from their victories in the Commonwealth Games, Libby Clegg and Dan Greaves form part of the 51-strong Great Britain & Northern Ireland team for the IPC Athletics European Championships taking place in Swansea from August 18-23.
Six-time Paralympic gold medallist David Weir had been due to compete but he is a late withdrawal through injury. With Weir having initially been named as the GB team captain, Clegg’s guide runner Mikail Huggins has been called up to take on the role.
Other world champions and record-holders in the squad include Hannah Cockroft, Stef Reid and Jonnie Peacock, plus Welsh throwers Aled Davies and Josie Pearson.
Richard Whitehead – the reigning T42 200m Paralympic and world champion – heads to Wales looking to retain the track title he won in Stadskanaal two years ago.
Maria Lyle, the 14-year-old who has broken the T35 100m and 200m world records this year, is one of 14 athletes who will make their GB senior team debuts in the five-day event at Swansea University track.
As well as Marcel Hug, who had been due to go head-to-head with Weir in four events, international headliners include the Netherlands’ ‘blade runner’ Marlou van Rhijn, Germany’s long jump T44 world record-holder Markus Rehm and France’s Mandy Francois-Elie, the T37 100m and 200m world champion.
The biennial event was first staged in Assen, Netherlands, in 2003 but Swansea is staging only the fourth edition of the championships as it was not held from 2007-2010.
A record 560 athletes from 37 countries will take part, with the morning sessions beginning at 10.00am and afternoon sessions at 4.30pm.
“There are a number of familiar faces once again in the team, but also what is encouraging is the emerging talent breaking into the ranks, which puts us in a really strong position moving forwards,” said GB Paralympic head coach Paula Dunn.
“It’s another home championships for the team and it will be great to get the support of not only the local Welsh community, but also the rest of the British public coming from further afield.”
Ireland has an eight-strong team that features reigning double Paralympic champions Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop, in addition to fellow London 2012 Paralympic medallist throwers Orla Barry and Catherine O’Neill.
The event is due to be streamed via the official event website www.swansea2014.com, while live coverage is to be broadcast daily on More4. Jonathan Edwards and Ade Adepitan will present the More4 coverage, with John Rawling, Katharine Merry and Danny Crates leading the commentary team.