Libby Clegg believes Halifax’s Hannah Cockroft can continue to lead the way for Paralympic sport in Great Britain for years to come.
Cockroft is one of the country’s most recognisable Paralympic athletes having taken wheelchair 100m and 200m gold at London 2012.
Clegg, who is registered blind, is herself a formidable force having taken 100m silver in Beijing in 2008 and in London three years ago.
But she believes Cockroft will make a real impact at the World Championships in Doha later this year and in Rio next summer.
“She is a seasoned athlete and fits well into the team and her personality is very bubbly and she is a really likeable person,” said Clegg.
“Her performances speak for themselves and I definitely think she will produce the goods in Rio and at worlds this year as well.
“I think back in the day you only had one or two recognised para athletes and now after London people know other athletes and can name many.
“It’s great that para sport is expanding and people are interested and especially in Rio it will be huge.
“Hannah is one of the people who is at the forefront of that and is a big inspiration for a lot of people.
“But not just that she is a great athlete and can really make a big impact with her performances.
“It’s great that people like Hannah have helped raise the profile of para sport and I think the Games in Rio will only help it grow more.”
It will be a long season ahead for both athletes this year with the World Championships in Doha not coming around until October.
That means a disrupted schedule and a short break before building back up to Rio 2016 but Clegg is confident that they can both keep the momentum of London going.
“She is really lovely and I think her personality really adds to her performances,” she added.
“The worlds are a long way off and it will be a long season that will have to change the way we train to taper and then come back for it.
“It will be difficult for everyone though so I am just hoping we can have a strong season.”
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