Maria Lyle named Allianz Athlete of the Month Best Youngster

Great Britain’s Lyle, at just 14-years-old, claimed two gold medals at the IPC Athletics European Championships. 26 Sep 2014
Maria Lyle at Swansea 2014

Maria Lyle of Great Britain celebrates after winning the women's 200m T35 final during the Swansea 2014 IPC Athletics European Championships.

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Great Britain’s sprinter Maria Lyle has been named the Allianz Athlete of the Month Best Youngster for August 2014.

Following a bumper month of para-sport, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) split the Allianz Athlete of the Month into three categories – Best Male, Best Female and Best Youngster.

Lyle received an incredible 42 per cent of the vote after her double-gold winning performance at the IPC Athletics European Championships in Swansea, Great Britain.

On her way to gold in both the 100m and 200m T35, the 14-year-old prodigy had to beat a number of top athletes, including Italian world champion Oxana Corso.

In the vote for the Best Youngster award, Lyle was closely pushed by Italy’s Federico Morlacchi, who won his first European titles with five gold medals at the IPC Swimming European Championships in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Third place went to Great Britain’s Lauren Steadman, who ended her compatriot Faye McClelland’s dominance of the PT4 category at the ITU Para-Triathlon World Championships in Edmonton, Canada.

Lyle also beat three swimmers in the vote – the Netherlands’ Chantalle Zijderveld, USA’s Ian Silverman and Great Britain’s Andrew Mullen.

The youngster, who has cerebral palsy, took up the sport of athletics at age 10, and was originally competing in able-bodied events before being classified for para-athletics.

She made her debut for Great Britain in February 2014 at the IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Dubai, where she smashed the 200m T35 world record by over a second with her time of 31.01.

In Bedford, Great Britain in May, she then improved this record to 30.71 and also broke the 100m world record with a time of14.63.

Earlier this month, Ukrainian swimmer Yevheniy Bohodayko was named the Allianz Athlete of the Month Best Male, and Italian equestrian rider Sara Morganti won Best Female.