Jacqueline Freney ,19, of Skennars Head is training in anticipation for the paralympics in London in August. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star
Jacqueline Freney ,19, of Skennars Head is training in anticipation for the paralympics in London in August. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star Cathy Adams

Jacqueline is ready to go

EVANS Head Aquatic Centre swim star and the Lower Richmond's hope for Paralympics gold Jacqueline Freney is officially London-bound after being named in the team for the 2012 Paralympics Games.

The 20 year old who has cerebral palsy cannot wait to dive into the Games deep end and get cracking.

"I'm the fittest I've ever been," Jacqueline said.

"I've been training to get where I am today for the last eight years and I'm ready to go."

This will be her second Paralympics after she brought home three bronze medals from Beijing in 2008 at just 16 years of age.

But since she now holds the world record in her classification for the 400m and 100m freestyle, Jacqueline is favourite to bring home gold.

Regardless of her results, the event will be particularly special for the Freney family because it will be the first time that dad Michael will be on the pool deck with his daughter at the Games.

Michael has been included as part of the coaching team for the Paralympics for the first time. "We get to share the experience together as athlete and coach," Jacqueline said.

"We share a really strong relationship."

And Michael is pretty fired up too.

"I just can't wait," he said. "She's ready. Bring it on now!"

Grandfather Peter Freney, also a swimming coach, believes his granddaughter has what it takes to bag gold in at least one event, despite stiff competition expected from a USA swimmer.

"I think she can win the 400m freestyle," Peter tipped.

"If not, she'll come a close second."

Jacqueline trains six hours a day and will fly out with the 35-member swim team to Britain on August 10 for the pre-Games staging camp in Cardiff, before the Paralympics begin on August 29.

Mum Joanne and siblings Morgan and Brandon, as well as her grandparents Peter and Margaret, will also be winging their way to London to cheer her on.



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