University of Bath graduate Alexandra Rickham selected for Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

01 March 2016

University of Bath graduate Alexandra Rickham says she “couldn’t be happier” after being named in the ParalympicsGB sailing squad for this summer’s Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

It will be a third appearance at the Games for Rickham and SKUD 18 partner Niki Birrell, who made their debuts at Beijing 2008 and won bronze at London 2012.

Rickham is the first athlete with University of Bath connections to be officially selected for Rio 2016.

“I couldn’t be happier to be selected to represent ParalympicsGB in Rio,” said Rickham, a Natural Sciences graduate who has won five World Championships with Birrell.

“We’ll face tough competition out in Rio but these next few months of intensive preparations will make sure we’ll be ready to shine at the Paralympics, and having such incredible support back at home will really boost us.”

The final sailing squad was announced on Tuesday, with Stephen Thomas, John Robertson and Hannah Stodel selected to contest the Sonar. Helena Lucas, the reigning 2.4mR Paralympic champion, was the first British athlete to have her Rio place confirmed last April.

Sailing Team Leader and RYA Olympic and Paralympic Manager Stephen Park OBE said: “We’re delighted to be able to finalise our Paralympic team selections today and to be taking six talented and experienced athletes with us to Rio, all of whom have proven themselves in major competition over a number of years.

“There’s no doubt that Rio is an incredibly challenging environment to compete in and the sailors will be focussing all their energies on learning the intricacies of racing in Guanabara Bay.

“All of these athletes have been to the Games a number of times before and, with the removal of sailing from the Tokyo 2020 programme, this could be the last opportunity for them to perform so we will be working all out with them and doing all we can to ensure they fulfill their medal potential in Rio.”

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