“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.
London 2012 Australian Athletics Team
Angela Ballard – Camperdown, NSW
Carlee Beattie – Warwick, QLD
Georgia Beikoff – Valentine, NSW
Damien Bowen – Queanbeyan, NSW
Matthew Cameron – Wynnum, QLD
Kelly Cartwright – Geelong, VIC
Gabriel Cole – Malvern, SA
Richard Colman – Geelong, VIC
Christie Dawes – Merewether, NSW
Madison de Rozario – Success, WA
Rachael Dodds – Hawthorne, QLD
Jodi Elkington – Wodonga, VIC
Louise Ellery – McKellar, ACT
Kurt Fearnley – Newcastle, NSW
Jessica Gallagher – Geelong, VIC
Sam Harding – Belconnen, ACT
Todd Hodgetts – Launceston, TAS
Madeleine Hogan – Ferntree Gully, VIC
Jake Lappin – Kilmore, VIC
Rosemary Little – West Pennant Hills, NSW
Rheed McCracken – Bundaberg, QLD
Richard Nicholson – Melba, ACT
Evan O’Hanlon – Hunters Hill, NSW
Katy Parrish – South Yarra, VIC
Simon Patmore – Carseldine, QLD
Kristy Pond – Baulkham Hills, NSW
Kath Proudfoot – Macgregor, ACT
Scott Reardon – Temora, NSW
Michael Roeger – Langhorne Creek, SA
Stephanie Schweitzer – Baulkham Hills, NSW
Brad Scott – Bruce, WA
Russell Short – Glen Huntly, VIC
Matthew Silcocks – Mount Waverley, VIC
Lindsay Sutton – Mount Mellum, QLD
Jack Swift – East Ivanhoe, VIC
Erinn Walters – Holder, ACT