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Newbury para-powerlifter Louise Sugden 'determined' for medal at third Paralympic Games in Tokyo

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Newbury para-powerlifter Louise Sugden is relishing the opportunity to compete at her third Paralympic Games when it begins next month.

The 36-year-old secured her place on the plane to Tokyo and she is one of five in the Great Britain para-powerlifting squad for the games.

Despite last year’s games being postponed, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sugden is determined to come back with a medal.

Louise Sugden (49201373)
Louise Sugden (49201373)

“I'm so happy to finally be confirmed as part of the Paralympics GB team heading out to Tokyo.

“I've always been determined to do well at the games but the extra year has given me an opportunity to get stronger and hopefully it enables me to finish higher than I could have done last year.”

Sugden, who is European Champion, has competed in several events in the lead up to this summer’s games and gained some experience as well as medals, including the silver she picked up in the Para Powerlifting World Cup, in Manchester, in March.

As a result of this, she believes the experience gained will prove to be crucial in Tokyo.

“My experience in other competitions has definitely given me a good idea of what to expect from a competition with Covid restrictions.

“Being at a Paralympics can add extra pressure, but I have a lot of experience of being on a competition platform which I hope I can draw upon in Tokyo.

“The last couple of competitions I've done have had a limited crowd so I've got some experience of it and although it's a shame, the safety of the public is the most important thing.”

It’s not the first time that Sugden will be represent Great Britain at a Paralympic Games.

She was part of the wheelchair basketball squad during the Beijing games and the London games in 2008 and 2012 respectively, before she retired from the sport and took up para-powerlifting in 2017.

Although some experiences will be the same, competing in another sport will have its own differences this time round.

“The main difference for me is that, as a basketball player, I would have a match almost every day of the Paralympics.

“As a Powerlifter, I have just one day of competition so will have a lot more down time.

“It will be very strange but I'm quite looking forward to extra time to watch more of the Paralympics GB team compete, it's just a shame that will have to be from my apartment in the village rather than in the stadiums.”

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