In­vic­tus gold – now for the Par­a­lympics

SIT­TING VOLLEYBALL

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT -

TONY Har­ris be­lieves he is well on the way to ful­fill­ing his Par­a­lympic dream after se­cur­ing gold in sit­ting volleyball at the in­au­gu­ral In­vic­tus Games.

The 33-year-old, from Great Mis­senden, was part of the Bri­tish Armed Forces team that tri­umphed over USA in Sun­day’s match in front of a rau­cous crowd at London’s Cop­per Box Arena.

Although the for­mer cap­tain in the Royal Reg­i­ment of Fusiliers is tar­get­ing even big­ger things in the fu­ture, he says that claim­ing the gold medal is the pin­na­cle of his sport­ing ca­reer to date.

“Fin­ish­ing th­ese Games in style and bring­ing home that gold medal is my proud­est achieve­ment since be­ing in­jured,” said Har­ris. “It’s been amaz­ing.

“I’ve been se­lected for the GB squad, but Europe is a tough con­ti­nent in terms of sit­ting volleyball teams – we need to work hard to get higher up the rank­ings. I would love to rep­re­sent my coun­try in the Par­a­lympics and show the de­ter­mi­na­tion to get there.”

The In­vic­tus Games, an in­ter­na­tional four-day event for wounded, in­jured and sick ser­vice per­son­nel, in­volved more than 400 men and women from 13 na­tions tak­ing part in nine sports.

The Bri­tish Armed Forces team hauled in an im­pres­sive to­tal of 130 medals.

Har­ris, whose left leg was am­pu­tated be­low the knee, is ea­ger to see the event go from strength to strength.

“The fu­ture of the Games will be an in­cred­i­bly com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment with more and more na­tions get­ting in­volved,” he added. “It is a phe­nom­e­nal op­por­tu­nity.

“It’s not watch­ing dis­abled peo­ple try to do well, it’s watch­ing ath­letes who have a dis­abil­ity per­form at the high­est level.”

Jaguar Land Rover is proud to be the pre­sent­ing part­ner of the In­vic­tus Games. For more, go to www.jaguar. com and www.landrover.com.

Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

COM­PET­I­TIVE: Tony Har­ris pre­pares to block a smash by Ni­cholas Dad­gostar (USA) dur­ing Sun­day’s fi­nal

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