Don't despair – next up are the Paralympians
There are plenty of British athletes to keep us cheering. Shannon Firth picks out 10 to watch
Sunday 12 August 2012
The Olympics may be over, bar the shouting, but there's plenty of sporting drama to come. From the darling to the rebel, the rookie to the veteran, here are 10 GB athletes to look out for at the Paralympic Games.
Peter "the Quadfather" Norfolk, 51, won gold in the men's tennis singles in Athens and Beijing, as well as four other medals for doubles. His arch-rival, the American David Wagner, is ranked No 1, and fans of both athletes are hoping for a Norfolk-Wagner showdown in the final.
As the youngest British individual gold medallist in 2008, swimmer Eleanor Simmonds, then 14, became an overnight sensation. Having lost to rival Mirjam de Koenig-Pepper from the Netherlands at the 2011 world championships, Simmonds is eager to defend her Paralympic title.
Sitting volleyball player, Martine Wright, 39, lost her legs in the 7/7 bombings, but an off-duty police officer saved her life. After being selected for the Paralympic team, Wright told an interviewer: "I feel like I am meant to do this."
Since his debut in Sydney, para-equestrian Lee Pearson, 38, has won gold in every one of his events over the last three games. The Paralympian known for his outsized personality and wit, is confident he can pocket three more gold medals by keeping ahead of the German team.
Jonnie Peacock, 19, from Cambridge, ran 10.85 sec in the 100m at the trials, making him the world's fastest amputee. He'll do battle with defending champion Oscar Pistorius and the American Jerome Singleton.
At 17, Jody Cundy nicked his first gold medal in the Atlanta Games swimming butterfly. Twenty-three international medals and 10 years later he took up cycling. After two golds in Beijing and a silver at the world championships, Cundy, now 33, is a likely favourite.
Tom Aggar, 28, a rower in the single sculls, hasn't lost a race in five years.
He won a gold medal in Beijing. At the world cup in 2011, he finished a full 13 seconds ahead of second-placed Alexey Chuvashev of Russia.
The GB seven-a-side football team has a not-so-secret weapon in Ibrahima Diallo, 19, from Bristol. Diallo who recently discovered he has cerebral palsy, told an interviewer: "Since finding out about my condition, which many would see as a hindrance, I have had nothing but good fortune."
Hannah Cockroft, 20, a wheelchair racer from Yorkshire will likely blaze past her competition, as the world record holder in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m. At the 100m trials, American Kristen Messer trailed Cockroft by three seconds.
Danielle Brown, 24, won an able-bodied gold for archery at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010. She won Paralympic gold in Beijing in 2008. To keep her title, she must outscore China and Japan. Having set school aside to prepare for Beijing, Brown returned to the University of Leicester and graduated with a law degree in 2010.
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