A SIX-strong powerlifting team has been announced for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
The team combines youth and experience with four athletes having gone to previous Paralympic Games, and another two who are exciting new talents.
Matlock-based Anthony Peddle will go to his seventh Games in London and will lift in the 48kg category. He has been powerlifting for 20 years, and held the world record for seven years.
He will be joined by Manchester’s Jason Irving who lifted at Athens and Beijing. A 60kg lifter, Jason finished fifth in Greece in the 60kg category and sixth in China in the 56kg class. He will lift at 60kg in London.
Londoner Ali Jawad will be going to his second Games in London, and will compete in the 56kg class. The former European and World Junior Champion competed at judo prior to taking up powerlifting in 2006.
Natalie Blake from Newark will compete in the 52kg category, and was placed just outside the medals in Sydney, Athens and Beijing. She was fourth in the IPC World Championships in Malaysia in 2010.
Colchester-based Zoe Newson won the World Junior Championships in Malaysia in 2010, and will be aiming to hit form again when she competes in the 40kg category in London. She set a new European record on her way to gold in the IPC British Championships in 2011.
Finally, Londoner Paul Efayena will compete at the 2012 Paralympics in the 105kg + category. A relative newcomer to the sport, Paul has made a big impact since debuting at the 2011 UK Invitational Championships in Cardiff.
The powerlifting team was announced alongside Judo and Boccia in London in April.
ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission Craig Hunter said: “I am delighted to welcome these athletes to ParalympicsGB. It is the culmination of hard work and dedication on their part.
“From ParalympicsGB’s perspective the selection of many of these athletes is also testament to the success of BPA programmes such as our annual simulation preparation camp, our Paralympic Potential days and our Talent Transition Programme over the last four years.
“I am particularly excited because today’s selection of athletes means that we have now selected almost a third of ParalympicsGB for London, so it really feels like the team is starting to come together.”
Fiona Lothian, Team Leader for British Weight Lifting, said: “We are delighted that all four athletes who represented Great Britain in Beijing have qualified for London 2012 in addition to two new athletes.
“Our experience of the BPA preparation camps has convinced us that this will be the best place to put the finishing touches to our Games preparation. With the home crowd behind us I am convinced we can build on our recent performances to deliver good results in London.”