Friday, April 4, 2014

Ethiopian Paralympic medallist boosts chances of representing Britain at Rio 2016 with race win

 Ethiopian refugee Wondiye Fikre Indelbu has boosted his chances of representing Great Britain at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games after an impressive performance in the Hartlepool Marina 5 race.

Indelbu, who became the first athlete from his country to win a Paralympic medal when he took silver in the T46 1,500 metres at London 2012, crossed the line first in the weekend's Hartlepool Marina 5 race, clocking a time of 24min 45sec.

The 26-year-old is now based in Middlesbrough after claiming asylum in the UK following London 2012 and has declared he wants to represent Britain at Rio 2016.

Indelbu sought asylum in Britain after claiming he would face persecution from the Ethiopian Government if he returned home because he and his family supported an illegal political party.

The runner lost an eye and the lower part of his right arm, which he claims was the result of a hand grenade attack in his home village, when he was nine-years-old.
Since London 2012, he has become a UK resident and has been competing in a number of races across the North East of England putting in some impressive performances.

While Indelbu has been granted asylum, this does not automatically guarantee him a British passport which he would need to represent Britain at the next Paralympics.

UK Athletics told insidethegames they have only just become aware of his move to Britain and his eligibility for Rio 2016 is "something we will look into in due course".