Welling­ton pair off to Par­a­lympics


Two ath­letes from the Welling­ton re­gion are pre­par­ing to head to Rio de Janeiro in Septem­ber af­ter be­ing se­lected for the Par­a­lympics.

Mary Fisher is a world multi swim­ming cham­pion, and for­mer Aotea res­i­dent Kate Ho­ran is seek­ing a medal in her sec­ond sport.

Both are world record hold­ers, but their train­ing en­vi­ron­ments couldn’t be more dif­fer­ent.

Fisher, who is par­tially sighted and swims with blacked out gog­gles, is train­ing at the gym and pool at the Sir Owen Glenn Na­tional Aquat­ics Cen­tre in Auck­land. Ho­ran, a below-theknee am­putee, is a cy­clist ped­alling in pri­vate in Pa­parangi.

‘‘I’m train­ing in my lounge,’’ Ho­ran said when Kapi-Mana News phoned last week.

Ho­ran, 40, won an athletics sil­ver medal at the 2008 Bei­jing Par­a­lympics, and hopes to strike gold this year at her third Par­a­lympics.

Ow­ing to a for­mat change in the track cy­cling pro­gramme, she will com­pete in a mul­ti­clas­si­fi­ca­tion 500m time trial, a tougher race against those of other dis­abil­i­ties.

But she is tar­get­ing the C4 3000m pur­suit event as a medal prospect.

‘‘I know what I’m go­ing to Rio for – I’ve got to ex­e­cute my race. I def­i­nitely want to win gold. Sil­ver is lovely, but a gold medal will be the ul­ti­mate.’’

Fisher, the world record holder in the S11 50m freestyle, broke through in her first Par­a­lympics, in Lon­don in 2012, with a gold, two sil­vers, a bronze and a world record. This year she is listed by the In­ter­na­tional Par­a­lympic Com­mit­tee as ‘‘one to watch’’.

She’s pleased and ex­cited that all her events will be live on the Duke chan­nel.

Both ath­letes leave for train­ing camps with their teams shortly – Fisher to Europe and Ho­ran to Canada.

Ho­ran’s preschool son will be looked af­ter by her fam­ily.

‘‘It’s the long­est time I’ve ever been away, ‘‘ she said.

‘‘But we are ex­pected to be away for a month.’’

The pair have dif­fer­ing views of speed.

Ho­ran, a sprinter, is hop­ing to pace her­self away from her ‘‘sprint men­tal­ity’’ dur­ing her time trial. Fisher, how­ever, is hop­ing to go faster than ever from the start.

Mary Fisher, left, and Kate Ho­ran are head­ing to the Par­a­lympics.

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