Four Western Australians will be in the Australian para-athletics lineup in Rio in September. Madison de Rozario, Ella Pardy, Brad Scott and Chad Perris have their tickets with the official announcement in Canberra of the 44-strong para-athletics squad.
This will be the third games for de Rozario and Scott while 24-year-old vision impaired sprinter Perris and 25-year-old long jumper Pardy will make their debuts.
Madison de Rozario will be competing in four events at the Paralympic Games. The 2015 IPC World Champion will race in the T53 800m, and the T54 1500m and 5000m. She will also be part of the 4x400m women’s relay team. At 14, de Rozario was Australia’s youngest athlete at the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008. She came home with a silver medal.
In a recent interview which in part discussed pre-race tactics and in particular the icy stare of the amazing Canadian Chantal Petitclerc, de Rozario was quoted as saying:
28- year-old Brad Scott is also a middle distance athlete and like de Rozario, he picked up silver in Beijing. Scott also managed silver and bronze in London in 2012. He will be competing in the T38 1500m event in Rio.
Ella Pardy won gold in the 100m at the IPC Grand Prix in Brisbane last year. In Rio she will be competing in the T38 100m and will also be a part of the 4x100m relay.
Chad Perris has two international medals under his belt. He claimed a silver and a bronze at the IPC Athletics World Championships last year. He’s now aiming for another in the Paralympics T13 100m.
Also included in the 22-men and 22-women para-athletics squad is Kurt Fearnley, Angie Ballard, Todd Hodgetts, Evan O’Hanlan, Christie Dawes, Richard Coleman, Isis Holt and Carlee Beatie.
The Paralympic Games opens on 8 September (7am WST). The Australians are again targeting a top five finish. This year will also see the biggest TV audiences witness the Games worldwide as networks, including or own Channel 7, commit to bringing hundreds of hours of live coverage of these elite athletes.