Germany, Sept 24, 2012: The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has revealed the shortlist for the Best Male Athlete of the Month for August and September combined, based on their performances at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and the public can now vote for the winner on www.paralympic.org
The finalists for the award include:
-David Weir (Great Britain, athletics): The British wheelchair racer became a household name across the world during the 11 days of competition, as he notched golds in the men’s 800m, 1,500m, 5,000m and marathon T54 events, edging out rivals Marcel Hug of Switzerland and Kurt Fearnley of Australia in all of them.
-Jason Smyth (Ireland, athletics): The Irishman was a hit with the crowds after finishing first and setting new world records in both his events, the 100m and 200m T13 sprints. He raced to gold in the 100m in a time of 10.46 and sped to the finish line in 21.05 in the 200m, solidifying himself as the fastest Paralympian on the planet once again.
-Daniel Dias (Brazil, swimming): Brazil’s top swimmer won six golds at the Games, giving his nation something to look forward to when the Paralympics head to Rio in 2016. He finished first in the 50m backstroke S5, 50m butterfly S5, 50m freestyle S5, 100m breaststroke SB4, 100m freestyle S5 and 200m freestyle S5.
-Matt Cowdrey (Australia, swimming): He became the most decorated Paralympian ever in Australia after racking up eight more medals in the pool in London, including five golds. He took the top prize in the 50m freestyle S9, 100m backstroke S9, 100m freestyle S9, 200m individual medley SM9 and 4x100m freestyle relay 34 points.
-Alex Zanardi (Italy, cycling): The story of the former Formula 1 driver alone was enough to capture crowds, but the fact that he won two golds and a silver in road cycling made it even sweeter. Zanardi topped the podium in the individual road race and time trial H4 events, and his team finished second in the mixed team relay H1-4.
-Shingo Kunieda (Japan, wheelchair tennis): Kunieda defended his Paralympic title by winning the men’s singles competition at Eton Manor with a straight sets (64, 6-2) victory over France’s Stephane Houdet. He was able to overcome some serious injuries following the Beijing 2008 Games to reclaim his dominance once again.
The public now has until 12:00 (CEST) on 2 October to vote for their favourite performance.
Because of the London 2012 Games, the IPC did not have an Athlete of the Month for August or September, but rather will have three award winners for those two months. These will include the Best Male Athlete, Best Female Athlete and Best Team from the London 2012 Games.
To help compile the shortlists for each category the IPC took nominations from the National Paralympic Committees and International Sport Federations that took part in the London 2012 Games. —- IPC
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