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By Lisa Barbour
Sport
Funding blow for Libby

PARALYMPIC runner Libby Clegg has been dealt a funding blow just nine months ahead of Rio 2016.

FUNDING BLOW . . . Paralympic runner Libby Clegg has failed to be selected for a British Athletics funding programme ahead of Rio 2016

For the 25-year-old, whose family live in Langholm, has failed to be selected for British Athletics’ 2015-16 world class performance programme.
The decision comes just weeks after the visually-impaired sprinter and guide runner Mikail Huggins were forced to pull out of the IPC Athletics World Championship in Doha due to injury.
But she told C4 Paralympics at the time that the setback had given her the motivation to come back stronger for Rio.
Responding to the news, a statement from Clegg said: “Following the decision from British Athletics to remove me from the world class performance programme, I am understandably extremely disappointed they have not shown faith in me for next year,
given my record at championships in the past.
“Although it is not ideal to have had my funding stripped, I am grateful to have the support of sponsors including SSE, Eukanuba, Allianz and ESPC.
“Once I have recovered from injury, I am fully committed to continue training with my coach Joe McDonnell and working towards the Paralympic Games next year.”
Selection for the programme, which is funded by the National Lottery from UK Sport, is based on an athlete’s potential to win Olympic or Paralympic medals.
A total of 21 athletes have been invited to join the Olympic Podium programme and a further 25 to the Paralympic Podium programme, while an additional 29 Olympic and 27 Paralympic athletes have been offered the opportunity to join the respective
Podium Potential programmes ahead of Tokyo 2020.
But illness and injury have plagued Clegg, who scooped gold at the Commonwealth Games and a silver medal at the 2012 Paralympic Games, in recent times and she was also forced out of last year’s European Championships in Swansea.
The GB star, who is now based in Leicestershire, lives with a deteriorating eye condition known as Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy, which gives her only slight peripheral vision in her left eye and means she is registered blind.

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