Elite Athlete Development Programme Media Release  No: Prime1616

16 Aug 2016

    Embargo : None

Written by: Nick Tatham


EADP stars eye Paralympic success

Durban – As the 31st scheduled Olympic Games starts to build momentum in the carnival city of Rio de Janeiro Paralympic athletes start their final preparations for the 14th edition of the para-sport spectacle with Elite Athlete Development Programme stars Kevin Paul and Tyrone Pillay hoping to make their mark at the showpiece event in Rio from 7-18 September.

The pair have tasted varying degrees of success and failure over the past eight years with Paul unable to defend his gold medal at the London Paralympics in 2012 and Pillay falling short of being selected for the national team however these disappointments have motivated the Kwa-Zulu Natal Department of Sport and Recreation backed athletes.

“Not being able to defend my gold medal in London was really disappointing for me and influenced a few of the changes I have made in my career,” current 100m S9 breast stroke world record holder Paul said.

“I moved to Durban about two years ago, joined the EADP and Graham Hill became my coach. I have seen a lot of improvements in my swimming and it gives me a lot of encouragement going into the Rio Games.”

Rio will be a third trip to the global showpiece for Paul and despite the experience of two previous Games dealing with the pressures that come with an event like the Paralympics is something that he still has to come to grips with when competing on the ultimate sporting stage.

“I cannot even describe the pressure that you feel when you are about to take part in a Paralympic final, it’s different to any other event – maybe because it only comes around every four years.

“Having been to two Games in the past I think I have learnt to harness that pressure better and I am going out there to win another gold medal, especially after missing out in London.

“I went back to the drawing board after London and with the help of everyone at Prime I feel like I am in the best possible shape I could be in and I am just really excited to get to Rio and represent South Africa,” a motivated Paul added.

The João Havelange Olympic Stadium will be the hunting ground for EADP shot put star Tyrone Pillay as he breaks new ground at his first Paralympic Games after he missed out on selection to the Games four years ago.

“Just getting selected for the team to go to the Games was an achievement in itself for me,” Pillay, who has a prosthetic left foot, said with a smile during his final preparations.

“I had to improve my distances in order to get selected and I have been improving constantly with a personal best at the practice event in Rio earlier this year being a highlight.

“It has been an incredible journey for me to get to this point and along with my support team I am really excited to be representing South Africa.

The 36 year old might be heading into the twilight of his career but his current number suggest that he will be a threat when the event gets underway in September.

“I am in the top four in the world at the moment which gives me a little bit more motivation to break into that top three but with that said being selected was my main goal and so if there is a medal out there, it’s just a cherry on the top!

“This could well be my last shot at a Paralympic medal so I am really going to give it everything I have got – I don’t want to come home with any regrets!” an excited Pillay commented

For more information visit www.eadp.co.za 

ENDS

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After having to settle for a silver medal at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, Elite Athlete Development Programme star Kevin Paul, pictured here with the Head of Department at the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport and Recreation, Mrs Rohini Naidoo, will hope to go one better at the para-sports showpiece event in Rio from 7-18 September. Jethro Snyders/
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Having recovered from the disappointment of missing out on the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, shot put star Tyrone Pillay will have his shot at glory when he takes on the worlds best para-athletes at the Rio showpiece from 7-18 September. Getty Images/
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