Paralympians take Rio by storm

Friday 9th September 2016 3:22 pm
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Georgie Hermitage

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PARALYMPIANS from across the Herald area have been at the heart of the action in the opening two days of the 2016 Rio Games, setting new world records and winning heats as they launch their campaigns for glory.

Sprinter Georgie Hermitage from Binsted will compete in the women’s T37 100m final at 9.36pm tonight (Friday, September 9) UK time after setting a new world record of 13.39 seconds in her heat.

Georgie is also set to compete in the T37 400m, beginning with the heats on Monday (September 12) from 2.24pm UK time and hopefully the final at 2.14pm UK time the following day, as well as the T35-38 4x100m relay final at 11.31pm UK time on Thursday (September 15).

She will be joined in the relay by another local girl, London 2012 bronze medalist Olivia Breen from Liphook, who also secured a place in the T38 100m final in the early hours of Friday, and will battle it out for a medal just minutes after Georgie's race.

In addition to the relay, Olivia will have another chance to get among the medals on Sunday (September 11) in the women’s T38 long jump final starting at 10.28pm UK time.

Farnham’s Rachel Morris also got her campaign underway in style on Friday afternoon by winning her opening heat in the Rio 2016 rowing arms only single sculls.

Rachel, who set a new world best time at the Rowing World Cup in Poznan in June, is competing in her second Paralympic sport in Brazil having won gold and bronze medals for GB in hand cycling at the previous two Games.

She won heat two of the women’s single scull (ASW1x) in a time of 5:32.15 on Friday afternoon, putting her second overall behind China’s Lili Wang who won heat one in 5:21.04.

The 2008 Beijing Paralympics hand-cycling gold medalist will now advance to the ASW1x finals taking place this Sunday (September 11) at 1.50pm UK time.

Another GB Paralympic athlete from Farnham, Kylie Grimes, will compete this Sunday at 9.33pm UK time in the F51 women’s club throw final. Kylie has also switched sports between Games, having represented GB at London 2012 in the wheelchair rugby.

Fellow club-thrower Abbie Hunnisett, a former student of Treloars disabled school and college in Alton, also competed in the F31/32 category on Friday afternoon, but finished agonisingly outside of the medals in fourth place behind GB teammate Gemma Prescott.

A further two Treloars alumni, David Smith and Patrick Wilson, are also competing at the Rio Games in boccia.

David will open his campaign with the pool stages of the BC1-2 mixed team event at 3pm on Saturday (September 10), followed by the individual BC1 event at 5.30pm on Tuesday (September 13).

Patrick will take on the BC3 event starting with the pool stages of the mixed pairs at 9.20pm UK time on Saturday (September 10) followed by the individual event at 3.15pm on Tuesday (September 13).

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