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hart voted 'athlete of the month'

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Katrina Hart

10 November 2010

Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland representative Katrina Hart (coach: Rob Ellchuk), a 100m T37 gold medal winner for England at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, has been voted the International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) `Athlete of the Month' for October 2010 after winning a public vote. 

In a closely fought poll, the 20 year-old University of Bath student, a member of Birchfield Harriers, claimed 48% of the public vote and left Canadian Kyle Pettey, who set a new world record in winning Commonwealth Games Shot Putt gold (F32/34/52), in second.

Born with cerebral palsy, Hart was introduced to Paralympic sport aged 14 and one year later won a bronze medal in the 100m T37 at the 2005 European Championships in Finland.

At the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games she finished seventh in the 100m T37 final, however her greatest performance to date was in winning gold at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi last month in a British record time of 14.36 seconds.

In addition to preparing for January's IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand and the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Hart is also a third year Sports Performance student at the University of Bath.

Nominated alongside Hart and Pettey in the IPC's `Athlete of the Month' for October 2010 were Nigeria's Kate Nwaka Oputa who claimed Commonwealth Games gold in the Women's Singles Wheelchair Table Tennis, Australia's 1500m T54 Commonwealth Games gold medal winner Kurt Fearnley and Wheelchair Basketballer Daniel Robert Highcock who made world headlines after shooting a basket from well inside his own half during a Spanish league game.

Each month the public is asked to vote for the IPC's `Athlete of the Month' from a shortlist of five candidates via www.facebook.com/ParalympicSport.TV

Previous winners in 2010 are as follows:

January: Alexi Salamone; February: Mariann Marthinsen; March: Canadian Wheelchair Curling Team; April: Sinisa Vidic; May: Katrin Green; June: Padraic Moran; July: Chinese Women's Sitting Volleyball Team; August: Daniel Dias; September: US Wheelchair Rugby National Team 

Meanwhile, World and European heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis (coach: Toni Minichiello) has been announced as one of five female athletes to have been shortlisted for the IAAF 2010 World Athlete of the Year.

With the inclusion of athletes representing five different countries and three different continents, the list of female finalists is yet another confirmation that athletics truly is the most universal sport.

Female finalists are: (in alphabetical order)

Veronica Campbell-Brown JAM
Milcah Chemos Cheywa KEN
Jessica Ennis GBR
Allyson Felix USA
Blanka Vlasic CRO 

The winners of the 2010 World Athlete of the Year Awards will be announced live, on stage, during the 2010 World Athletics Gala, which will take place in Monaco, on 21 November 2010.

The IAAF Family votes opened on Tuesday 19 October, following the conclusion of the IAAF/SINOPEC World Half Marathon Championships, and closed on Sunday 7 November at midnight CET.

The IAAF Family vote consisted of a list of 1786 recipients including IAAF & IAF Council Members, IAAF Member Federations, IAAF Committee & Commission Members, IAAF Meeting Directors, IAAF Ambassadors, Leading Athletes, Athletes’ Representatives, IAAF Staff Members and selected members of the International Press.