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Running guides provide support Paralympians

08-23-2012 10:44 BJT Special Report:2012 Paralympic Games |

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Chinese track and field Paralympians managed a haul of 31 gold medals four years ago in Beijing. Among them were six won by blind or visually-impaired athletes. Behind the success of the runners were a group of people who are totally indispensible--their running guides.

Imagine running in total darkness at top speed. What you need most is undoubtedly some guidance and trust.

For Jia Juntingxian, a Chinese Paralympian who will contest the 100 & 200 meters and long jump at the upcoming London Paralympics those two assets are in big demand.

To assure fair play, all blind or visually impaired sprinters have to compete blindfolded. Unable to see the start, finish, or track lines, Jia has to totally rely on his guide Xu Donglin, with the help of a guide ring.

Xu Donglin, Guide, Chinese Paralympic Athletic Team, said, "We have to do something for her. Tell her something she could not see. I feel very happy to help her with everything I can do."

Three years younger than Xu, Jia says Xu helped her not only as a guide, but also like a brother.

Jia Juntingxian, Chinese Paralympic Athletic Team, said, "He’s such a nice person. He is just like my eyes and more than that. He gave me so much help during our training."

The guides had to pass a very strict draft to be enrolled by the Chinese Paralympic Athletic Team. All of them have to be under thirty years of age, with a 100 meters personal best of 11.20 second for 100 meters.

Hu Zhengguan, Coach, Chinese Paralympic Athletic Team said, "All the guides are key athletes in the national champion sprint team. We hope by integrating them into our team, they can bring the best out of the Paralympians."

Training together only for half a year, Xu has helped Jia to notably improve her personal best. The young Paralympian hopes the "big brother" can be with her as long as possible so Xu can be her guide not only on the track but also in life.


Editor:Bai Yang |Source:

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