Clegg and Chiassaro chosen as team captains for the WPA Euro
Libby Clegg (club: Charnwood, coach: Joe McDonnell) and Richard Chiassaro (Harlow, Jenni Banks) have been voted British team captains by their teammates for the World Para Athletics European Championships.
All 53 members of the team were given the opportunity to vote for their male and female captains. The pair will pick up their duties by giving speeches at the team meeting prior the championships getting underway on Monday 20 August.
Double Paralympic T11 champion Libby Clegg earns the captaincy on her return to the British team after two years’ out of the sport with injury. She won two golds in Rio, however, injury led to her agonizingly missing the World Championships in London last summer.
World, European and Commonwealth champion Clegg spoke upon receiving the joint captaincy:
“It is an absolute honour to be team captain and even more so because it was voted for by my teammates. I’m really looking forward to supporting the British team while we are out in Berlin and passing on all my experiences to the squad.”
During an impressive series in Nottwil earlier this year, Chiassaro lowered the T54 800m world record for a short time, his 1:30.35 seeing him top the rankings before the American Daniel Romanchuk bettered it in the States a couple of weeks later.
Nevertheless, the world T54 400m bronze medallist is enjoying a sensational run of form, setting personal bests across distances from 100m to 800m this year making him one of the leading names in world para athletics.
Competing across several track events on offer to T54 athletes in Berlin (100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m), Chiassaro is set for a busy week as he seeks to defend his 200m title from 2016, as well as the three silver medals he won two years ago.
“I am honoured to have been voted captain of the team by my fellow athletes. There are many new faces on the team which is very encouraging, and I have a feeling it is going to be a great championship for the British team. Bring on Berlin!”
Para Athletics Head Coach, Paula Dunn added:
“I am delighted that both Libby and Rich have been chosen as team captains. Both are great role models for the rest of the team, and thoroughly deserve this honour.
“For Libby, it has been a difficult couple of years so I’m glad to see her patience has paid off and she’s been rewarded in this way. For Rich, so many of his teammates look up to him for how he conducts himself both on and off the track. I’m really pleased to have these two representing Great Britain and Northern Ireland and leading the team in Berlin next week.”
Unfortunately, David Henson (Roger Keller) has withdrawn from the T61 200m. The full team can be found here.
The WPA European Championships will be streamed live on the World Para Athletics website (https://www.paralympic.org/athletics) and on their Facebook page from Monday 20 August (16:30 UK time).