Grimoldby paracyclist is on the road to Rio

A paracyclist is determined to realise her Paraolympic dream in Rio de Janeiro later this year - at the age of 51.

Liz McTernan in action.
Liz McTernan in action.

Single mum Liz McTernan, from Grimoldby, hopes to make her debut in the Women’s Handbike 4 category.

She has been clocking up the miles in training but admits she faces a tough battle booking a place on the plane to Rio.

Liz is currently ranked seventh in the world in her category and is number one in Europe after winning the European Handcycle Circuit race series last year.

She is also a two-time world record holder for the women’s ‘arms-only’ speed trials held an America i 2015.

Liz will step up her battle for a place in the national time trial championships in Derbyshire next month and is hoping her newly modified handbike will be up to the test.

She said: “There are only six places available in the British team for Rio in women’s paracycling across a number of categories so the competition to make it is really tough.

“But I have been training harder than I ever have before thanks to the help and guidance of my new coach, Dr Ralf Lindschulten.

“My training has been really consistent. I’ve only had one day off in six months and luckily no injuries.

“I am feeling confident and ready for competition now my bike has had a few new modifications.

“I am determined to give it my best shot and will throw everything I can at it.”

Apart from the national championships, Liz is also targeting success at the forthcoming World Cup in Belgium.

She said: “It does mean I need to medal at the World Cup - and do well in every other competition I have got coming up so I need to pull out all the stops.

“The closest I have come to the medals in a national competition is fourth; I know I really have to step up my game.”

Liz is well aware she faces rivalry from some younger competitors but is ready for a battle.

She added: “I am looking forward to every ride this year.

“It will certainly be a challenge but I’m the type of person that if it was easy then I probably wouldn’t be doing it!

“To be honest, I am hoping that someone comes along and beats my two world records. Then, it means I can go back and beat them!”

The women’s paraolympic selection will take place at the end of May.

1 Liz is still on the look out for new sponsors in order to purchase a new handbike. Turn to page 96 in sport for the latest info.