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London 2012 Games

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Dan West Photograph courtesy of PA

Paralympian targets gold this time

26 July 2012

Loughborough University-based shot-putter Dan West is aiming for gold at the London 2012 Paralympics after a series of near-misses.

Dan, 34, will be appearing in his fifth Paralympics, having won bronze in the shot putt in Atlanta (1996), bronze in the discus in Sydney (2000) and silver in the discus in Athens (2004.

He missed out on a medal in Beijing in 2008 and this year is competing in just the shot putt. He is, according to his coach at Loughborough, Jim Edwards, in fine fettle.

Jim said: “He’s in good shape. Recently, he threw 11.35 metres, just short of his personal best (11.37m).

“We are concentrating on the shot putt, we’re not doing the discus.

“He has been throwing 12 metres in training and in warm weather training in Portugal in March he was throwing 12 metres. If he gets it right on the day he could do really well.

“He has got a couple of silvers and we want that gold for him this time.”

Jim will have five throwers at the Paralympics which start on August  29, including the most high profile, Dan Greaves, who is one of the favourites for the discus gold medal.

The other three are Kieran Tscherniawsky (F33 discus), Jonathan Adams (F34 shot putt) and Claire Williams (F12 discus).

Jim says all are looking good and, while the two men are up-and-coming, Claire will be competing in her third Paralympics having finished fifth in Athens at the age of 17 and fifth in Beijing.

Jim said: “If she could replicate some of her training form into competition I’d be nailing the flag on a gold.

“She is capable of doing that. She has thrown either the first or second best throw in the world this year, and last year she was the leading thrower.”

Jim thinks all are capable of winning a medal, in some cases the gold, but he says: “I’d be happy if we just medal. If we get three of four I’d be over the moon.

“I don’t care what colour they are really, although the guys might have a different feeling on that!”

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