Kurt Fearnley, Evan O’Hanlon and Kelly Cartwright headline a 43-strong Australian Athletics delegation for London 2012.06 Jun 2012
Kurt Fearnley (AUS) competing at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.
“Athletics will be our biggest sport in London and of the athletes selected today; there is an equal mix of youth, experience and of course, a wealth of talent."
Wheelchair racing legend Kurt Fearnley headlines the London 2012 Australian Paralympic Athletics Team announced on Wednesday (6 June), and has set his sights on becoming the first athlete in history to win the Paralympic wheelchair marathon at three consecutive Games.
The Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) announced its Athletics team for the Paralympic Games at the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre during the team’s final training camp on home soil before the event begins on 29 August.
Fearnley is one of 36 athletes to be officially selected by the APC Board with a further seven athletes currently nominated. Those selections will be confirmed in the coming days to complete the 43-strong team.
Athletics is Australia’s most successful sport at the Paralympic Games to date, yielding 145 gold, 139 silver and 131 bronze medals since it was introduced at the first Paralympics in Rome 1960.
“Australia has a strong and proud history in athletics at the Paralympic Games with some of our most memorable sporting moments taking place on the athletics track and in the field,” said Jason Hellwig, APC Chief Executive and 2012 Team Chef de Mission.
“Athletics will be our biggest sport in London and of the athletes selected today; there is an equal mix of youth, experience and of course, a wealth of talent.
“This is a very young team with 22 of the athletes so far selected under the age of 25. Not only do we expect this team to perform well in London but we know that this team has the talent and longevity to perform well at Rio 2016 and beyond.”
Fearnley is one of several reigning world and Paralympic champions on the squad aiming for something special at the London Games.
Among the other leaders include Evan O’Hanlon, the cerebral palsy sprinter who won gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay in world-record time at Beijing 2008; reigning 100m and long jump world champion Kelly Cartwright who is the world record holder across the 100m, 200m and long jump in the T42 class; and Louise Sauvage’s protege Madison de Rozario who was the youngest Australian medallist at the Beijing Games in 2008.
BEIJING, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 11: Evan O'Hanlon of Australia smiles after a world record win in the Men's 100m T38 Final Athletics event at the National Stadium during day six of the 2008 Paralympic Games on September 12, 2008 in Beijing, China.
Kelly Cartwright at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand.