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ATHLETES GET TASTE OF CHINA

11 Sep 2007

Welsh athletes are continuing to power towards the Beijing Paralympics in Chinese Taipei this week as part of their qualification quest.

But while squad stalwarts John McFall, Nathan Stephens and Brian Alldis will be striving to impress Paralympic squad selectors, young talents will sample their first taste of a multi-sport Games experience at the IWAS World Wheelchair and Amputee Games (9-19 September 2007).

Jon Morgan, Director of Disability Sport Wales explains, "Some of these athletes will be in Beijing and some of them will be the faces in London 2012. It is a huge achievement for Wales to send 11 athletes out to Chinese Taipei.

"We have 15-year-olds competing at senior level at a high profile event. This is a massive accomplishment and is a significant opportunity for them. We believe it is an investment which will pay off as these youngsters have the makings of serious international talents.

Joshua Morgan and Aled Sion-Davies are the youngest members of the Welsh contingent. They are just 15-years-old but Disability Sport Wales believes the pair has the potential to be challenging for medals at London 2012.Aled Davies UK School Games 2007 web insert

Kate Arnold also has the attitude and capabilities to burst onto the world stage. Her perseverance has already been tested in the pool, having been part of the GB team and making the final 100m SB8 breaststroke at the IPC World Championships. Now though she is transferring her strength to the track and the results show the switch is worthwhile.

While long-term planning is paramount to make sure that Wales is well represented when the Paralympics roll into London, Beijing is already on the horizon and athletes are now into the qualification points race.

John McFall is attending the GB training camp in Macau prior to travelling to Chinese Taipei. It is the same venue which the GB team will use prior to Beijing as it’s holding camp.

"The whole process of going to holding camp in Macau and transferring to race venue will be highly useful. It will good for practicing preparation and getting familiar with the routine. Macau will expose me to the environment and climate prior to Beijing. To be able race in Chinese Taipei following Macau is a really good opportunity."