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Paralympic Games
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Spirit in Motion
Spirit in Motion

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Organisers on Sunday (21 May) unveiled the official medals for July’s World Para Athletics Championships, which place the drive and determination of athletes at the heart of its unique clockwork design.

Based within the shape of an athletics track, the set of medals for the World Para Athletics Championships are layered with symbols of every event on the competition schedule, an intricate design that bears resemblance to the inner workings of a watch.

Identifying London as the home of Greenwich Mean Time, for the World Para Athletics Championships, the layering of the equipment enables visually impaired athletes to feel the details of the medals while there is braille on the reverse marking the host city and the year.

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Great Britain’s Jo Butterfield only made her international debut in 2014 – since then her track and field success has been non-stop, winning world, Paralympic and European titles in the club throw F51.

After winning gold at Rio 2016, Butterfield took a long-awaited break. Here is her Holiday Hotspot:

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Despite her youth, 20-year-old McKenzie Coan is considered a veteran in the swimming world. The US swimmer made her international debut in 2009 and has not stopped improving ever since.

But it was not until last year that Coan made a name for herself, winning three golds in the women’s 50m, 100m and 400m freestyle S7 at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. She followed that up with a silver in the 4x100m freestyle.

She is hoping to continue her winning run at the World Para Swimming Championships in Mexico City, from 30 September-6 October.

Here, Coan shares three unforgettable moments in the pool.

1. When my brothers joined the swim team, when I was four years old. It didn't take long for me to want to join after seeing them having so much fun at practice and at meets.

2. I told my parents that I wanted to race just like my brothers but in order to join the swim team, you had to be able to swim a lap without a life jacket or any assistance. The next day when we got to the pool, I threw away my life jacket, jumped in the water and swam not one, but six laps on my own before stopping.

3. When a kid would cry because I beat them and I was in a wheelchair. I always thought that was a funny reaction; and I loved proving people wrong that only saw me for my disability.

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Whilst she recovers from surgery on her tooth, Martina Barbierato is planning her training regime for the Mexico City 2017 World Para Powerlifting Championships, set to take place from 30 September-6 October.

The 22-year-old, who at Rio 2016 became the first Italian powerlifter to compete at a Paralympic Games, is hoping to set a new personal best at the Worlds.

Here, she shares three things people do not know about her.

1. When I go to the bench, I look at the bar like if I wanted to break it. I gain energy and am more efficient and concentrated when I am angry.

2. After every lift I repeat “the competition starts now” to myself like a mantra in order not to relax.

3. I would like to be more feminine. But I do not like when I scream like a girl whilst lifting the bar.

The World Para Powerlifting Championships will take place in Mexico City from 30 September-6 October, with more than 360 powerlifters from 65 countries competing in the Juan de la Barrera Olympic Gymnasium.

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Czech Republic's David Drahoninsky answers questions about his life and love of archery.

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NEWS: Heard of the Zarzuela twins? They helped Spain make history in wheelchair basketball at #Rio2016 and now want more.

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South Africa's double Paralympic champion reveals all about his downtime.

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REVIEW: Now that's impressive! U.S. Paralympics Cassie Mitchell lowers a record that as stood since 1989!

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Egyptians powerlifters stood out on Sunday (7 May), the last day of competition (7 May) at the 2017 World Para Powerlifting World Cup in Eger, Hungary, claiming two wins out of five events.

Nadia Ali won the women´s up to 86kg in a close contest with compatriot Rania Ali Morshedi. The latter managed three successful lifts, starting with 105kg and then progressing to 110kg and 111kg. But Ali´s second lift of 117kg gave the two-time Paralympic bronze medallist the victory. Brazil´s Marcia Menezes completed the top-three with a 105kg lift.

Another Egyptian who left Eger victorious was Randa Mahmoud in the women´s over 86kg after successfully lifting 130kg in her third attempt. South Korea´s Hyun Jung Lee (111kg) took second place and Brazil´s Tayana Medeiros (102kg) third.

Marion Serrano was the winner of the women´s up to 79kg after lifting 93kg with her third attempt. The Chilean finished far ahead of Hungary´s Barbara Nebehaj, who lifted 35kg.

Iraq´s Faris Al-Ageeli achieved his first win since 2013 in the men´s over 107kg. The 42-year-old, a bronze medallist at the 2014 World Championships, lifted 215kg in his second attempt. With his best of 205kg, Hungary´s four-time Paralympian Sandor Sas finished second. United Arab Emirates´ Walid Abdulrahman Raeialboom (177kg) finished third.

Azerbaijan´s Elshan Huseynov won the men´s up to 107kg with a 225kg lift in the second round, before failing with 231kg in his last attempt. Serbia´s Petar Milenkovic had to settle for second with his 220kg lift, whilst Mexico´s Rio 2016 bronze medallist Jose Castillo finished third on body weight.

The last major event before the Mexico 2017 World Para Powerlifting Championships will be the 2017 ASEAN Para Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which is only open to countries from that region, between 17-23 September.

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China pulled off a memorable upset at the wheelchair tennis World Team Cup on Saturday (6 May) defeating top seed and 29-time champions the Netherlands 2-0 to win the women’s title for the first time in Alghero, Italy.

The Asians also took revenge from last year´s final, which they lost to the Europeans.

This time, Hui Min Huang and Zhenzhen Zhu won both singles against world No. 5 Aniek van Koot and world No. 3 Diede de Groot, respectively, preventing the Netherlands from taking a landmark 30th title.

In a tough and changing match, Huang defeated van Koot 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(5). She was followed by Zhu´s 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 victory over de Groot.

“Yes, I am very happy and would like to thank the organisers and spectators. Everyone is very friendly,” said world No. 22 Zhu. “Before the match we reviewed other matches played by the Netherlands and we made a strategy. We carried out all the plans that we made.

“(I had) a very strong belief I could do this, we have been preparing for this match for a long time. We wanted to produce a miracle as they have won many times. I can't express my joy with words.”

China, who started the week as eighth seed, became just the third nation other than the Netherlands to win the World Team Cup women’s title after the USA won in 1994 and Australia in 1999.

Tenth seed USA earned the women’s bronze medal with a 2-0 victory over sixth seed Switzerland, the winner of the European Qualification in March.
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