23 August 2019
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Rio 2016: Helena Lucas named as first selected athlete

April 30, 2015
Helena-Lucas1

The British Paralympic Association has announced that London 2012 gold medallist Helena Lucas is the first athlete selected to represent ParalympicsGB at Rio 2016 – a selection which sees her become the first official member of either ParalympicsGB or Team GB for Rio.

Helena-Lucas1

Lucas, who turns 40 this week, is used to making history, as the first GB sailor to win a Paralympic medal since the sport became a fullpart of the Paralympic programme in 2000 when she won gold in the 2.4mR class on home water at London 2012.

She did so as the only female sailor amid an otherwise all-male 2.4mR fleet, and in just under 500 days’ time, Lucas will sail for ParalympicsGB once again, in Rio.

The announcement that she will make her third Games appearance was made on board the Cutty Sark, one of the world’s most famous ships and a national icon of British Maritime history.

It is the culmination of a selection campaign in which Lucas produced consistent performances to prove her form, fending off tough competition for the place in the 2.4mR class from compatriot Megan Pascoe.

She is the only GB athlete in her class to have secured podium places in the Royal Yachting Association’s four qualification events, including silver at the 2014 IFDS World Championships and bronze in the 2.4mR Open World Championships.

Lucas was thrilled to have her name first on the team sheet, saying:

“I think relieved is probably the best word.  It’s been great having Meg there and pushing me all the way in the trials, and it’s a massive relief to know that I’m going to Rio and have the opportunity to defend my gold medal.

“It’s amazing that I’m the first athlete to be selected.  I think the last time round I was probably one of the last to get nominated, so it’s from one extreme to the other!  It’s a huge privilege, but also it means that we can really focus on preparing for Rio and the specifics of the venue.

Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

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