Oaklands Paralympian’s power to success in Tokyo

Two former members of the Oaklands Wolves Athletics Academy soared to success in Tokyo this Summer, as part of the 2020 Paralympic Games in Japan.

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Two former members of the Oaklands Wolves Athletics Academy soared to success in Tokyo this Summer, as part of the 2020 Paralympic Games in Japan.

Maria Lyle and Olivia Breen played their part in Team GB’s Paralympic success, as their collective three bronze medals helped secure a second-place finish on the closing day of a thrilling Paralympic Games.

Maria, who earned Team Great Britain their first medal of the Games powered over the line to take bronze in the Women’s T35 100m final with a season’s best 14.18 seconds, narrowly trailed Australia’s Isis Holt and China’s Xia Zhou, who occupied the Gold and Silver medal positions.

In addition to her medal in the T35 100m, Maria also won bronze in the T35 200m final, with a personal best 30.24 seconds and repeating the podium standings alongside race winner Xia Zhou and runner-up Isis Holt.

Maria, who has cerebral palsy, has been an inspiring figure throughout her journey both as a student athlete at Oaklands College in 2016/17, where she studied a diploma in Sport & Exercise Science.

Speaking to reporters shortly after crossing the line in third place, Maria said:

“For me it was about going out there and enjoying the experience. To run the time I have, and to enjoy the experience, I am really happy” she said.

“It was always going to be difficult to challenge for gold and silver so I really had to stick to my own race plan. I didn’t expect the time.

“It was hard to gauge where I was because the other two girls (Zhou and Holt) were quite far ahead but I just focused on what I needed to do for my race.

The success also carried through the competition when Olivia Breen, who studied a Level 3 Diploma in Sport at Oaklands College in 2015 witnessed the reward of a hard, gruelling training regime throughout lockdown to win another bronze for Team GB in the Women’s T38 Long Jump.

Speaking to reporters shortly after her bronze medal jump, Olivia said:

“I hope that the Paralympics will inspire the next generation and get the message out there that sport can help with disabilities and it can change your life.”

Please note the college will be closed on Friday 31st March for our staff development day
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