Tauranga para-athlete's last minute Rio call

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Fraser Sharp has been selected for the New Zealand Paralympic Team. Photo/File
Fraser Sharp has been selected for the New Zealand Paralympic Team. Photo/File

Tauranga based para-athlete Fraser Sharp is one of two late selections for the New Zealand Paralympics team announced today.

Paralympics New Zealand announced the late selection of Sharp and para-canoeist, Scott Martlew increasing the New Zealand team to a total of 31 athletes competing in six sports.

The selection panel was convened this weekend, after the International Paralympic Committee re-allocated a further two para-athlete slots to Paralympics New Zealand late last week.

The re-allocation resulted from the IPC's decision on August 7 to suspend the Russian National Paralympic Committee and subsequently Russian para-athletes from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, a decision which was upheld last week by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Sharp said he was happy to be selected to compete at the games.

"This will be my first ever Paralympic Games, the pinnacle event for Para-Athletes. I will be wearing the silver fern with pride and riding my heart out for all New Zealanders."

Chief executive of Paralympics New Zealand Fiona Allan said: "I am pleased to confirm Scott and Fraser's selection to the New Zealand Rio 2016 Paralympic Team.

"Both Para-Athletes are deserving of their place on the team and despite not having received selection until now, they have each maintained a full training schedule.

"Because of this continuing commitment, they have both been able to meet the Paralympics New Zealand selection criteria."

"When the Para-Cycling team was selected in May, the panel was able to select two Para-Athletes into the two male slots available to New Zealand at the time. Fraser will be a strong addition to the team in this newly available third male slot."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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