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Breen for IPC in Holland

IPC Euro 2012

IPC Euro 2012

15-year old Olivia Breen (Leroy Elliot) will make her Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland debut in this week’s IPC Athletics European Championships in Stadskanaal, Holland (24-28 June).

The Portsmouth athlete – who will compete in the T38 100m and 200m – will use the opportunity to gain valuable event experience as she joins her new team mates for the first time in one of the last major qualification opportunities for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Her involvement could bring a welcome boost to the women’s T35-38 relay squad, who are realistic medal contenders, for the Games.

“I’m so excited to be on my first team trip, it feels like a dream,” said Breen who first started competing for her club in 2010; “I’ve had the chance to meet the girls a couple of times and we recently had a relay get together in Birmingham, they were all lovely.

“This competition should be a great experience for me and I hope to get a PB. Hopefully the Russian number one will be here to push me. I’m progressing with every race and it’s all looking very positive.

“I have started to think about the Paralympic Games, it’s looking more and more likely that I could be involved because of how well things are going in the relay, but it’s not the end of the world if I don’t make it, I’m only young and I’ve got 2016 to look forward to, it’s all very exciting!”

The IPC European Championships were last held in Finland in 2005 and a significantly bigger British team returned with 26 medals, of which 17 were gold.

The highlight on that occasion included four gold medals for Tanni Grey-Thompson in the T53 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m, and although she’s now retired from the sport, a small group of athletes return in 2012 to defend their seven-year-old titles: Bev Jones (John Parkin), a double gold medallist in the T37 shot putt and 100m last time around, competes in the shot putt; T36 100m World Record holder Graeme Ballard (Steve Thomas) goes in the 100m and will target the defence of his 200m title as he doubles up; and Stephen Miller (Ros Miller), a three-time Paralympic Games gold medallist, defends his F32 club throw title.

IPC World 200m Champion Katrina Hart (Rob Ellchuk), a bronze medallist in the 100m in 2005 when she was just 15-years-old, has a realistic chance of a double gold medal as she lines up in the T37 100m and 200m.

Several athletes including Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine), Paul Blake (Rob Ellchuk), Kyron Duke and Hollie Arnold (both Anthony Hughes) have arrived in Stadskanaal off the back of recent lifetime best performances and are in the shape of their lives as they build towards their career high this summer.

IPC World 100m Champion Clegg (T12) clocked new PBs for the first time since the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008 when she ran 12.41 in the 100m and 26.10 in the 200m at the German National Paralympic Championships in Berlin just one week ago.

World 400m Champion Blake (T36) reduced his one-lap best, also in Berlin, with a new mark of 55.20, while Duke and Arnold recorded new PB distances in the F40 shot putt (11.19m) and javelin (37.39m) and the F46 javelin (35.88m) respectively at the Welsh National Championships in early June.

32 current World Record holders are expected to line up in Stadskanaal this week. The first day of action is Sunday 24 June and daily session reports will appear on the UKA website.

Of those athletes originally named on the team, Bethany Woodward (Jonas Dodoo) and Thomas Green (Ken Green) have withdrawn.

The full Aviva GB & NI team is below:

Hollie Arnold (Anthony Hughes): F46 Javelin; Graeme Ballard (Steve Thomas): T36 100m/200m; Paul Blake (Rob Ellchuk): T36 400m/800m; Olivia Breen (Leroy Elliott): T38 100m/200m; Sally Brown (Philip Tweedie): T46 100m/200m; Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine): T12 100m/200m; Derek Derenalagi (Alison O’Riordan): F57 Discus; Kyron Duke (Anthony Hughes): F40 Javelin/Shot Putt; Katrina Hart (Rob Ellchuk): T37 100m/200m; Tracey Hinton (Darrell Maynard): T11 100m/200m/400m; Bev Jones (John Parkin): F37 Discus/Shot Putt; Jenny McLoughlin (Darrell Maynard): T37 100m/200m/400m; Stephen Miller (Ros Miller): F32 Club Throw; Scott Moorhouse (Dan Pfaff): F42 Javelin; Ben Rushgrove (Rob Ellchuk): T36 100m/200m; Sophia Warner (Steve King): T35 100m/200m; Richard Whitehead (Keith Antoine/Liz Yelling): T42 100m/200m; Claire Williams (Jim Edwards): F12 Discus


  1. Leroy Elliott says

    Olivia has done fantastic to get this far based on where we were in January 2012 and I know there is more come. Top Lady