7 Sydney Uni Paralympians just days away from competition

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The 2012 London Paralympic Games kick-off Thursday, and with seven University of Sydney athletes gearing up for competition the Games are set to be one of the most memorable.

On the back of an excellent Olympic campaign by their fellow University of Sydney athletes, who won seven medals, the university’s Paralympic contingent is on track for success, with multiple medal winning swimmer Katrina Porter competing in her first event on Thursday night, Sydney time.

Porter, who trains as part of the Sydney Uni Swim Club (SUSC) High Performance Multiclass swim program, will compete in the 400m freestyle, 100m breaststroke, 100m backstroke, 100m freestyle and 100m freestyle relay at the London Games – her third consecutive Paralympics.

The veteran won gold in Beijing in 2008 in the 100m backstroke with a then world record time but says that it would be hard to repeat that performance in London because of the improved competition.

“The 100m backstroke is my main focus,” Porter told the Inner West Courier late last week.

“But it’s going to be a lot harder, because the competition has taken a step up since then.

“All of the times have improved in the past year or so.”

Joining Porter in action are several more University of Sydney medal contenders, including fellow SUSC swimmers Prue Watt (six time 2004 medallist) and Sarah Rose (2004 bronze medallist); three time Paralympian wheelchair track athlete Angela Ballard (two time medallist); goalballer debutant Jennifer Blow; and wheelchair basketballers Katie Hill (2008 bronze medallist) and Sarah Stewart (two time medallist).  

The Games kick off with the opening ceremony at 5:30am on Thursday morning, Sydney time, before the competition begins on Thursday night, Sydney time.

Thursday 30 August 

Swimming – Women 100m Backstroke S7
Katrina Porter