Home News ParalympicsGB sends record number of female athletes to Tokyo Games

ParalympicsGB sends record number of female athletes to Tokyo Games


The ton of female talent includes veteran cyclist Dame Sarah Storey, 43, who is on track to become our most decorated Paralympian yet. But the line-up will also include newcomers such as 17-year-old swimmer Ellie Challis, who almost died from meningitis as a toddler.

Penny Briscoe, the team’s chef de mission, said the 100 women and 127 men will create “many memorable moments” during the 12-day extravaganza.

Sport England expects Britain to win between 100 and 140 of the 1,617 medals up for grabs ‑ after 147 bagged in Rio 2016 and 120 in London 2012.

Swimmer Ellie Simmonds, 26, and archer John Stubbs, the oldest competitor in the British team, at 56, will carry our flag at this morning’s opening ceremony.

Ellie, who first competed as a 13-year-old at Beijing 2008, has a total of eight medals including five golds. She said: “I’m hugely honoured to carry the flag for the ParalympicsGB team team ‑ on behalf of all the athletes, support staff and for the entire nation.

“Just to be in Tokyo is amazing but to carry the flag is the icing on the cake and I can’t wait for the competition to start.”

John added: “For any elite athlete to go to the Games and be bestowed this honour is a privilege.”

Dame Sarah, who began as a swimmer before switching to cycling, has 14 golds across both sports in games stretching back to Barcelona 1992.

Other big names returning include wheelchair racer “Hurricane” Hannah Cockroft, 29, with five golds to her name, and blade sprinter Jonnie Peacock, 28, with two. 

Jonnie starred in BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing with triathlete Lauren Steadman, 28.

Badminton’s Krysten Coombs had a part in Game of Thrones while javelin thrower Hollie Arnold was in last year’s I’m a Celebrity.

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