Cool Female Paralympian of the Day: Libby Clegg

On Sunday sprinter Libby Clegg won a Paralympic silver medal in the 100m T12 final, accompanied by her sighted guide Mikail Huggins (they also broke the European record).
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On Sunday sprinter Libby Clegg won a Paralympic silver medal in the 100m T12 final, accompanied by her sighted guide Mikail Huggins (they also broke the European record).

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Libby Clegg and her guide Mikail Huggins winning silver in the 100 Metres T12 sprint

Libby has a deteriorating eye condition known as Stargardt’s disease, which means she only has slight peripheral vision in her left eye.

Mikail has been her ‘eyes’ on the track for two years now; after watching her perform at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics the athlete got in touch to see if he could partner with her and after a period of training they became a partnership. Her guide in Beijing was Mikail’s stepfather Lionel Asquith.

London 2012 is the first Paralympics where the guides are awarded medals too which I think is quite right – their efforts at guiding their athletes round the track, keeping them in their lanes and matching them stride for stride using a guide rope attached to their hands are integral to the performance.

Mikail said of their partnership: "Becoming Libby’s Guide Runner is one of my biggest achievements, I get a huge amount of enjoyment running with her and helping her to achieve her dreams, I get to train as a world class athlete, I attend major competitions and I also get to travel the world!!"

Libby’s brother has the same eye condition as her and took bronze in the men’s S12 100m butterfly final, meaning the entire Clegg family had to race back and forth between the Aquatics Centre and the main stadium to make sure they saw the siblings’ victories and medal ceremonies.

Picture Credit: Rex Features