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LONDON CALLING FOR PARALYMPIAN REID

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Stefanie Reid

23 July 2010

Paralympic Games bronze medallist Stefanie Reid will compete in the capital for the first time when she lines up in the final event of the 2010 UKA Disability Athletics Challenge Series at Crystal Palace, London on Sunday 15th August.

Continuing the journey through to the IPC World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2011, the event - which concludes the inaugural three-meet series and follows on from the Aviva London Grand Prix (13-14 August) - is organised by UKA with the support of UK Sport, and is open to National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) with IPC licensed athletes.

US-based Reid, who finished third in the T44 category over 200m in the 2008 Beijing Games, has already achieved the World Championsips ‘A’ qualification standard for the long jump courtesy of a 4.85m lifetime best performance in the series opener in Knowsley (Liverpool) in May. With the final event in London fast approaching, she’s now targeting the required marks over 100m and 200m in a bid to score a trio of podium finishes on the global stage next year.

“I PB’d over 100m in Canada earlier this month so I know I’m in good shape, but time is running out to achieve those standards so the pressure is really on me to perform at Crystal Palace,” she said.

“2011 be my second World Championships and I can’t wait to get out there. I’ve enjoyed medal success with my third place finish in Beijing, but I want to build on that and experience what it feels like to stand on the top of the podium.”

Reid returns to the UK following a tough competition schedule which has taken her from medal winning performances in both Knowsley and Manchester (Paralympic World Cup) onto Holland, the USA, Canada and most recently the Samsung Diamond League meeting in Paris.

Now being coached by Dan Pfaff at Lee Valley, London is a second home to the Dallas athlete who is excited about the prospect of competing in the capital this summer and in the Paralympic Games in 2012. “I grew up in Canada but my roots are in Great Britain and I’m really proud of my heritage,” she said. “My dad’s Scottish and my mum is English and they took every chance to remind me how great both countries were – they’re proud of where they’re from and that pride has filtered through to me. It’ll be an honour to represent GB on home soil in 2012.”

Building on the success of the pilot event in 2009, the 2010 UKA Disability Athletics Challenge Series – primarily created to raise the profile of Paralympic athletics and to provide domestic competition opportunities and aid preparation for major championsips - has evolved to include three events and commenced in Knowsley, Liverpool in May, with over 70 athletes from nine nations represented.

Crystal Palace marks the third and final event in 2010 and spectator registration is now open.

UK Sport’s Event Consultant, Lucy Crickmore added:

“UK Sport has worked with closely with UKA and other partners to plan the 2010 Disability Challenge Athletics Series with events in Gateshead in July and in Crystal Palace in August immediately following the IAAF Diamond League competitions. We are delighted to be investing in and supporting both of these important events which not only offer fantastic international performance competitions for British athletes but will also provide two invaluable opportunities for British officials and volunteers ahead of London 2012.”

To register as a spectator for the London Disability Athletics Challenge click here  and select the spectators tab