ATHLETICS: Sam selected for second Paralympics

Sam Ruddock in his Great Britain kit from London 2012
Sam Ruddock in his Great Britain kit from London 2012

Shot putter earns place in Great Britain team for Rio

Athlete Sam Ruddock has been selected to compete in his second Paralympic Games.

The former Bishop Wulstan and Rugby School student will represent Great Britain in Rio de Janeiro in September in the F35 shot put.

Having made his international debut as a sprinter in London 2012 he has switched from track to field, first competing in the IPC European Championships in 2014 where he was fifth overall.

Last month Sam was the European silver medallist in Grosseto, Italy, with a distance of 13.65m and has earned a place in the country’s 54-strong team for the 11-day competition in Brazil.

“It is absolutely incredible and sincerely humbling to be chosen by your country to compete on the biggest stage in your sport,” said Sam, who competes for Charnwood AC.

“I owe this milestone to everyone who’s helped me reach it, family, friends but crucially, my coaches. Their investment of time and effort in my development has been phenomenal. My ambition is to repay them and everyone who’s ever assisted us on this journey, by performing to the best of my ability in the final.”

Sam is optimistic about his chances against the rest of the world, but typically grounded: “Focusing on whether I can be on the podium would be jumping the gun; I would rather concentrate on what I need to do, to give myself the best chance of being on it,” he said.

“That means doing what we’ve been doing in training. Shot put is extremely process driven, if I follow the technical process correctly, who knows how far the shot will go.”

With an impressive record of personal and season’s bests at major championships in the event, Sam is however confident that he will do himself and his support team justice.

“Fortunately, I have a psychological advantage of performing well when it matters but again, I owe that to meticulous planning done by the coaches,” he added.

“Technical work in the circle, as well as the strength and conditioning will be tailored accordingly to ensure we’re ready for the Paralympic final. I honestly can’t wait to get out there and cash in on all the hard work we’ve done this season.”

The men’s F35 shot put final will take place during the evening session on Monday, September 12 and will be broadcast live on Channel 4 and More4.