London 2012 hero returns from pregnancy to lead nominations

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Sarah

May 2, 2014 (ISN) – A five-strong shortlist spanning three different continents has been unveiled by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) for its Athlete of the Month award for April.

The five, consisting of two Britons and one apiece from Norway, the United States and Egypt across four different sports, won a combined total of four world titles and broke 10 world records in April.

Leading the way was one of the biggest stars of London 2012 in the four-time gold medal winner Sarah Storey, after the Briton won gold in both the women’s 3 kilometres pursuit C5 and scratch race C1-5 at the International Cycling Union Para-Cycling Track World Championships in Aguascalientes, Mexico. 

The 36-year-old, who has won 11 Paralympic gold medals in total across swimming and cycling events, set a new world record of 3min 32.050sec in the pursuit and also won bronze in the 500 metres time trial C5 event.

This came after she missed the 2013 season in order to give birth to daughter Louisa Marie, who was born on June 30.

The other British contender is powerlifter Ali Jawad, after the 25-year-old Lebanese-born competitor won gold in the men’s under 59 kilograms category at the IPC Powerlifting World Championships in Dubai, after recording a world-record lift of 190kg.

Jawad was one of two powerlifters nominated along with Egypt’s Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Paralympic champion Sherif Othman, who broke his own world record four times en route to winning gold in the men’s under 54kg competition in Dubai.

Sherif Othman broke his own world record four times to win World Championship gold in April ©Getty Images
Sherif Othman broke his own world record four times to win World Championship gold in April ©Getty Images

Another Para-athlete to break four world records in April was Norwegian S1 swimmer Ingrid Thunem.

She set new marks at the 28th International Deutsche Maeisterschaft competition in Berlin, Germany, in the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 150m individual medley events.

The final athlete nominated was US wheelchair racer Tatyana McFadden.

Just 32 days after winning Sochi 2014 silver, the 25-year-old raced to victory in the London Marathon women’s wheelchair race in a course-record time of 1:45.12 and, a week later, won her second straight Boston Marathon in a time of 1:35.06 on her 25th birthday.

The nominations are compiled from submissions by National Paralympic Committees and International Federations, with the competition returning to its normal format following special Best Male, Best Female and Best Team awards for performances at Sochi 2014 in March.

The public now has until noon (CEST) on May 9 to make their choice, with details on how to vote available here.

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