The British Paralympic Association (BPA) has announced the six athletes selected to represent ParalympicsGB at Rio 2016 in Para canoe, which is set to feature on the Paralympic programme for the first time this September.
While Para canoe is a new Paralympic sport, three of the selected athletes have already represented their country at a Games; Jeanette Chippington competed as a swimmer at five consecutive Paralympic Games from Seoul 1988 to Atlanta 1996, while Emma Wiggs and Nick Beighton made their Games debut at London 2012 in the sports of sitting volleyball and rowing, respectively.
Anne Dickens, Ian Marsden and Rob Oliver have been selected for their first Paralympic Games after joining the British Canoeing Performance Programme, which was first established in 2011 and has since gone from strength to strength.
All six selected athletes also claimed the title of national champion in their respective classifications during trials at the National Sprint Regatta earlier in June.
Chippington, who won 12 Paralympic medals during her swimming career before returning to international competition in a new sport, said:
“I still cannot quite believe that after 12 years of being retired from competitive sport I will be representing my country for the sixth time at the Paralympic Games. I feel very honoured and excited to have made the team. For four years I have trained so hard and made many sacrifices, but most importantly I have enjoyed the journey.”
Beighton, who made the transition from rowing to Para canoe recently as 2014, said:
“It has been a hard journey to this point and it wouldn't have been possible without the support of my partner and son. I can't wait to experience another Paralympic Games, and be involved in showcasing such a great sport for the first time at a Paralympics.”
Penny Briscoe Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE), ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission for Rio 2016, said:
“Huge credit must go to Steve Harris and the team at British Canoeing for the development of the Para canoe programme which was formally established in 2011 and has successfully identified and supported these talented athletes through an intense selection process. It’s a privilege to add their names to the team-sheet today.”
Great Britain is currently one of only two countries to have qualified quota places in all six Paralympic events, with Australia the other nation to have completed a full house. As the strength and depth in competition has increased internationally in recent years, Great Britain has again topped the medal table at the recent 2016 ICF Para Canoe World Championships in Duisburg, Germany, with a total of six medals across the classes (two gold, two silver and two bronze).
Today’s announcement brings the number of selected athletes to a total of 111, across a total of 10 sports.
Selected athletes (Para canoe):
Nick Beighton (KL2)
Jeanette Chippington (KL1)
Anne Dickens (KL3)
Ian Marsden (KL1)
Rob Oliver (KL3)
Emma Wiggs (KL2)
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.