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.