09.Jul.12 Let the Games Commence, the Prelude!
On the eve of the 2012 GB Paralympic selections, the McCain Birmingham Games including Aviva Parallel Success presented a timely opportunity for athletes to make an impression, and for a growing number of new athletes and volunteer officials to get a flavour of world class competition. Promoted by the Midland Counties, this year’s Games saw the introduction of field events and joins the Association’s growing portfolio of inclusive events both indoors and out.
Taking part were 92 athletes from across the UK, including Scotland, Northern Ireland and a sizeable Welsh team representing FDSW (Federation Disability Sport Wales). This included a host of Paralympic and World medallists, plus global record holders. But also fresh talent previously reported such as 15year old Sophie Kamlish (Team Bath) – the first Playground to Podium athlete to earn a GB vest at the Paralympic World Cup in May – who has since gone onto top the UK rankings over 100m and 200m and break into the top 10 in the World.
Through Aviva Parallel Success and Playground to Podium, a number of new clubs are being represented such as Andover AC (George Bull-Mclean – T36), Team Devizes (Polly Maton – T46), and Cleethorpes (Jamie Carter – T34). Clubs are also recruiting athletes themselves, with James Arnott (City of Plymouth) and Lee Whiteley (Sale Harriers), who have competed at league and county events before their Parallel Success debut in Birmingham. Both James and Lee attended a UKA Classification clinic at the Games, allowing them entry to future APS events and ensuring all future performances are recognised on Power of 10 national rankings for disabled athletes.
One of the highlight events of the weekend was the Discus with a large field including Daniel Greaves (Charnwood AC) the former World Record holder, Aled Davies (FDSW) on his return from injury, Scott Jones (Cheltenham Harriers) the European Junior Record holder and Sean Clare (Liverpool Harriers) who became the first British F40 athlete to break the 30m barrier with his 4th round throw of 30.14m. And taking the overall points lead in the girls was Holly Neill (Yeovil Olympiads) with 21.33m, a new personal best and one of a staggering 42 PB’s recorded during the event.
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