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British Sprinters Gunning for Gold

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Graeme Ballard

 

 

 

6 September 2008

 

 

 

ParalympicsGB sprinters Graeme Ballard and Hazel Simpson are on the hunt for gold medals as they approach the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.

 

Simpson and Ballard, who are both 29 years old, compete in the T36 category for track athletes with cerebral palsy.

 

Competing in the 100m and 200m, Sunderland-born Simpson already has a gold and two silver medals to her name from the last two Paralympic Games and is preparing to add more.

 

“I'd like to get gold,” Simpson claimed. “But any medal would be good.

 

“I'll just have to wait and see what happens. I've got some strong competition but you never know when they will have a bad day.”

 

“The camp has been good and training is going well,” added Simpson. “I'm training with Jared Deacon and Matt Wood, which is great because they challenge me.”

 

Lancashire-based Ballard made his Paralympic debut in Athens where he won bronze in the 200m. He is adding the 400m to his events this time around.

 

“I competed at Athens and got a bronze,” said Ballard. “So I'm hoping to go two better this time.”

 

Ballard competes in the 100m, 200m, and 400m but his strongest British competitor could be Ben Rushgrove, who set the 200m world record at the Paralympic World Cup last year.

 

“I'll be trying to get one over on him and he'll be trying to get one over on me,” said Ballard.

 

Although focused on winning medals both athletes are clear on how much they love their sport.

 

Ballard said: “I'm really looking forward to the Games. I think the 200m and the 400m are my best events. I like the bend on the 200m, I love running them.”

 

“I just like competing,” said Simpson. “I think competing at the Bird’s Nest will be a great experience.”

 

Ballard is in action from Monday 8 September starting with round one of the 100m while Simpson gets underway on Saturday 13 September with the 200m.

 


For news updates on ParalympicsGB please visit www.paralympics.org.uk