“Going to the Paralympics is the biggest honour an athlete can achieve and I really hope to do the nation proud again as the team did at London 2012.”
The British Paralympic Association (BPA) has the first wave of track and field athletes for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, together with a team of 10archers.
Amongst those named in the first group of 13 track and field athletes for ParalympicsGB are David Weir, four-time gold medallist at London 2012, and fellow Paralympic champions Aled Davies, Hannah Cockroft and Richard Whitehead.
David Weir said: “To be a part of ParalympicsGB once again is a huge honour. My first appearance came back in 1996 and the feeling of representing my country is as strong as it was when I put on the British vest in Atlanta.
“My performances on the track at the IPC Athletics European Championships showed that I’m still competitive with the best in the world and will be looking to put myself amongst the medals once again in Rio.
“London 2012 was beyond my wildest expectations, so to have the opportunity to go and do it all again at my fifth Games fills me with huge excitement.
“The team has gone from strength-to-strength in the last few years and I’m sure we’ll show once again that we’re a force to be reckoned with.”
Teenagers Sophie Hahn and Maria Lyle are selected to make their Games debut, following their performances at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships where Hahn won the women’s T38 100m and the pair helped the women’s T35-38 4x100m relay to the top of the podium. Both took up disability athletics after being inspired by London 2012, as did world record holder Georgina Hermitage, who was also announced.
Hermitage was a keen runner as a teenager but grew disillusioned with the sport and quit. She was inspired to reconsider sport after watching the London 2012 Paralympics and returned the track. She has gone on to great success, taking the World Championship title in the women’s T37 400m in her very first international season.
The 10 archers named to compete at the iconic Sambodromo include John Stubbs, already a two-time Paralympian and Beijing 2008 gold medallist, and John Cavanagh, who has competed at every Games since Sydney in 2000.
John Stubbs said: “Rio 2016 will be my third Games and I feel just as proud today as I did when I was selected to represent ParalympicsGB for the first time in Beijing.
“Going to the Paralympics is the biggest honour an athlete can achieve and I really hope to do the nation proud again as the team did at London 2012.
Also selected is Mikey Hall, an Army veteran whose achievements in archery began when he won individual bronze and team gold at the prestigious Invictus Games in 2014. The ex-serviceman who is supported by Help for Heroes’ Sports Recovery programme and who has been part of the BPA and Help for Heroes’ joint Front Line to Start Line, has been competing internationally since 2015.
Making his debut in the team is former professional rugby player Nathan Macqueen. Macqueen played for Glasgow Warriors and was part of the Scottish archery team before a motorbike accident. A keen sportsman, Nathan competed in wheelchair basketball and powerlifting up to national level before returning to archery.
Selected track and field athletes:
•Hollie Arnold (javelin F46)
•Paul Blake (400m / 800m T36)
•Dan Bramall (100m T33)
•Jonathan Broom-Edwards (high jump T44)
•Jo Butterfield (club throw F51)
•Aled Davies (shot put F42)
•Hannah Cockroft (100m/400m/800m T34)
•Sophie Hahn (100m T38)
•Georgina Hermitage (100m/400m T37)
•Maria Lyle (100m/200m T35)
•Mel Nicholls (800m T34)
•David Weir (1500m/marathon T54)
•Richard Whitehead (200m T42)
The announcement brings the number of selected athletes for ParalympicsGB to 161 across 14 sports.