Former Sydney University Elite Athlete Program (EAP) scholarship holder Angela Ballard has been announced as part of the Australian athletics team for the London 2012 Paralympic Games, where she will appear at her fourth Paralympic Games.
Ballard, currently studying a psychology honours degree at the University of Sydney, is one of 36 athletes to be officially selected by the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) Board with a further seven athletes currently nominated. Those selections will be confirmed in the coming days to complete the 43-strong team.
Ballard is a world class competitor with vast experience and a super coach in her mentor Louise Sauvage. Having already competed at three Paralympic Games, Ballard enters London 2012 armed with a wealth of understanding of what it takes to succeed at the Games.
She continues to stay up to speed with her competition, too, winning gold in the 400m and silver in the 100m at the 2011 IWAS World Games to suggest she will be tough to beat at London 2012.
After a car accident in 1989 that left her paralysed, Angie decided to pursue wheelchair racing and had her first competitive race in 1994. Four years later she was representing Australia at the World Athletics Championships in England. She competed at her first Paralympic Games in Sydney 2000 and later followed it up with a bronze medal in the 100m in Athens in 2004. In between Paralympics, she also won gold in the 100m at the 2002 World Championships.
At her third Paralympics in Beijing, Angie won a silver medal as part of the 4x100m relay team. She also achieved her goal of making the finals for all of her events, finishing fifth, sixth and seventh twice in the 100m, 800m, 200m and 400m respectively.
Paralympic athletics is open to all athletes who meet minimum physical or intellectual requirements. London will host 170 athletics medal events for a total of 1,100 athletes, over 25 per cent of the total number of athletes expected to compete at the Games.
The London Paralympic Games will take place from 29 August through to 9 September, 2012.
Ballard will join Goalball squad member Jennifer Blow as the second Sydney University representative selected to appear at the 2012 London Paralympics.
Krystal Weir, Olivia Price (Sailing), Ed Fernon (Modern Pentathlon), Murray Stewart (Canoe/Kayak – Sprint), Jessica Fox, Kynan Maley (Canoe/Kayak – Slalom), Matthew Mitcham, Loudy Wiggins (Diving) have all been named to represent Australia at the 2012 Olympic Games.