British equestrian, boccia, triathlon teams for Rio

Great Britain has named more athletes who will be heading to September’s Games. 15 Jul 2016
Five Para equestrian riders

Five Para equestrian riders who will compete for Great Britain at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games: Sophie Christiansen, Sophie Wells, Anne Dunham, Lee Pearson, and Natasha Baker.

ⒸBEF/Jon Stroud Media
By Robert Howell | For the IPC; British Paralympic Association

The British Paralympic Association (BPA) has announced the athletes who will compete for Great Britain in equestrian, triathlon and boccia at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Five riders will make up the equestrian team.

Twenty years after she first rode at the first ever Paralympic Games (in Atlanta 1996), Anne Dunham will again take to the arena in Rio. The grade Ia rider will compete in her fifth Games.

Also appearing in Paralympic Games number five is Lee Pearson in the grade Ib. Pearson has competed and won gold medals at every Games since Sydney 2000.

Sophie Christiansen (grade Ia) will compete at her fourth Paralympics. She will be joined by Natasha Baker (grade II) and Sophie Wells (grade IV), who are both competing in their second Games.

Christiansen said: “To be selected for my fourth Paralympic Games is an absolute honour; it’s funny that I’m now seen as a veteran at the grand old age of 28.

“I can’t wait to see what Rio has to offer, it will be a very different Games to London but I think my time in Athens and Beijing has prepared me well. It’s been made even more special after what I’ve gone through this year, the challenges I’ve faced have made me come out even stronger and hopefully I’ll emulate what I did in London – that’s my goal.”

Pearson has won an incredible 10 gold medals in Paralympic competition, an achievement that puts him within touching distance of athletics’ Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and cycling’s Dame Sarah Storey, who each have 11 gold medals to their name.

Pearson said: “I’m really happy but I was shocked when I was told, as I was for every other Paralympic Games – until you’re told you never quite believe it’s possible until you’ve actually been selected. I am really, really happy, it’s very surreal to be heading to my fifth Games and makes me sound very old!

“My fifth one is surreal, how Para dressage has developed and how strong Great Britain’s riders are, I do feel surprised on selection, as it’s such a strong squad – it makes you appreciate it even more.”

The team is led by Chef D’Equipe Sarah Armstrong, who will be in her role for the first time in Rio.

Selected athletes are:

Natasha Baker (grade II)

Sophie Christiansen (grade Ia)

Anne Dunham (grade Ia)

Lee Pearson (grade Ib)

Sophie Wells (grade IV)


Eleven athletes and two guides who will compete for ParalympicsGB in Para triathlon, as the sport makes its debut onto the Paralympic programme at Rio 2016.

Great Britain has qualified the highest number of slots of any country in this sport,

Amongst the ParalympicsGB team are three recent European champions: Lauren Steadman, a swimmer turned triathlete, will compete in her third Games and goes into Rio as reigning world and European champion in the PT4 category; Andy Lewis won the PT2 category; while Alison Patrick and her guide Hazel Smith successfully defended her European title at the 2016 European Championships in Lisbon, Portugal.

“This will be my third Games representing Great Britain, and I feel honoured to be competing for my country once again,” Steadman said. “We are a strong team and it will be great to get out there and bring home that medal that I've trained so relentlessly for.”

Added Lewis: “I’ve only been doing triathlon for two years and started quite late, but I’ve put absolutely everything into it and given it my all and the hard work has paid off now I’ve been selected.

Selected athletes are:

Joe Townsend (PT1)

Phil Hogg (PT1)

Andy Lewis (PT2)

Ryan Taylor (PT2)

David Hill (PT4)

George Peasgood (PT4)

Lauren Steadman (PT4)

Faye McClelland (PT4)

Clare Cunningham (PT4)

Alison Patrick (Guide Hazel Smith) (PT5)

Melissa Reid (Guide Nicole Walters) (PT5)


A team of 10 boccia athletes and four competition partners were announced. The team includes reigning individual BC4 world champion and pairs BC4 European champion Stephen McGuire and London 2012 medallists David Smith and Nigel Murray MBE.

Smith was a London 2012 individual BC1 silver medallist and featured in the bronze medal-winning BC1/BC2 team at London 2012 alongside Murray.

“Beijing and London were both completely different experiences, and I look forward to finding out what Rio has in store for me,” Smith said.

“The standard of international competition continues to go up, but I’ve remained focused on my preparations to ensure I’m in the best possible place.”

Murray will take on his fifth Games and will compete in both individual and team competitions once again, while Smith is returning for his third Games.

Murray said: “The selection process has been tough, but it’s been great to welcome some new faces on to the team as it demonstrates the great strength in depth in the squad, something which keeps pushing us to give the best possible performance every time we compete.”

Selected athletes are:

David Smith (BC1)

Nigel Murray (BC2)

Joshua Rowe (BC2)

Claire Taggart (BC2)

Patrick Wilson (BC3)

Jamie McCowan (BC3)

Scott McCowan (BC3)

Stephen McGuire (BC4)

Kieran Steer (BC4)

Evie Edwards (BC4)


Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs)

The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.

Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.

Visa International is the exclusive payment card and the official payment system for the Paralympic Games.