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3rd Dec, 2021

Paralympian trio dreaming of repeat success in Paris

Rob George 23rd Oct, 2021

MEDAL-WINNING Paralympic students and graduates of the University of Worcester have already set their sights on competing at the next games.

Following a triumphant return from Tokyo, the trio have been reflecting on their success and ambition to compete in Paris in three years’ time.

Current third-year student Phoebe Paterson Pine took gold in the archery, winning the women’s individual compound open, while education student Rebecca Redfern repeated her silver medal from Rio in the women’s 100metres breaststroke SB13.

Sports graduate Giedre Rakauskaite also celebrated a gold medal as part of the British PR3 mixed coxed four.

Sports coaching science student Phoebe took gold in her first Paralympics and admitted she didn’t expect success so soon.

“I think being Paralympic champion will give me the confidence boost I need as being a disabled person we, as a minority group, don’t always fit into society and I feel that this medal will show that even though I am disabled I can still achieve big things!” she said.

Becky has been enjoying some time off since the Games and is now taking on a postponed 12-week placement working in a school in order to complete her degree. The pandemic and knock-on effect on the Games was to prove the difference between Becky making the starting block and not.

Becky, who gave birth to a son, Patrick, in July 2020, said: “When I found out I was pregnant I had to come to terms with my swimming career coming to an end and missing out on the Tokyo Games. Then the Games were postponed due to Covid-19.

“I got back in the water eight weeks post birth and made the decision that I wanted to try my best to get to the games.

“It felt as if they had been delayed for me, they were waiting for me to compete, so I had to at least try.”

Giedre has already turned her thoughts to the next games while admitting her body needs a break from rowing.

“I have already been in the gym and on the bike. Paris 2024 is very close actually, and I think I would like to give it another go,” she said.

“Also, I would like the ability to enjoy the Games post the finals, and have the ability to watch and support the rest of Paralympics GB.”

As a coach who wants to carry on in that career, she hopes her status as a gold medal-winning Paralympian might open a few more doors in the industry.

After graduating Giedre went onto the role of head coach at Hereford Cathedral School for four years. After moving to Henley-on-Thames as a fully funded athlete, she continued working alongside at RGS High Wycombe as an assistant coach for a few more years.

For the last year leading up to the Tokyo Games, she took a break to entirely focus on her training.

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