Team GB's ones to watch at the 2016 Paralympics

These are the seven athletes you need to know...

ellie simmonds, london paralympics 2012, gold medals, marie claire, marie claire uk, swimming
ellie simmonds, london paralympics 2012, gold medals, marie claire, marie claire uk, swimming
(Image credit: PA)

These are the seven athletes you need to know...

The 2016 Paralympic games start tomorrow and we’ve all got our fingers crossed that Team GB prove as successful as they did on home turf.

Winning an incredible 120 medals at the London 2012 Paralympics, the British team finished third in the league tables behind China and Russia.

This year the GB squad will include over 200 amazing athletes, but here are seven names you’ll definitely want to watch…

1. Megan Giglia

Source: // UCI_paracycling

After a stroke left her with restricted movement and epilepsy at the age of 27, Megan Giglia used cycling as part of her recovery. Soon she was spotted by British Cycling and made her international debut last year.

Now the 31-year-old is tipped for a medal at Rio after winning gold at the recent Manchester Para-Cycling event. ‘I never dreamed I’d get to this level but it has allowed me to turn what was a bad situation into a good one,’ she said to BBC Sport.

2. Hannah Cockroft

Wheelchair sprinter Hannah Cockroft goes by the nickname ‘Hurricane Hannah’ for a good reason – she’s pretty much unstoppable.

The multiple world and Paralympic champion is already the world record holder for the T34 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m, so we’re pretty sure she’ll adding another gold medal to her ever-growing collection in Rio.

3. Matt Crossen

Source: // C4Paralympics

25-year-old footballer Matt only made his England debut a few months ago, but he’s already eying up gold in Rio.

Despite a stroke leaving him with restricted movement on his left side at the age of 22, Matt continued to play the sport he loved and finished fifth as part of England’s team at the Cerebral Palsy World Championships, qualifying for Rio.

4. Ellie Simmonds

After starting swimming at the age of five, Ellie became the superstar of the 2008 games when she won two gold medals aged just 13. Four years later, she did it again.

With four gold Paralympic medals already under her belt, we reckon she’s now on track to notch up a few more in Rio.

5. Ross Wilson

Source: // JFSportsMgt

A Team bronze in table tennis just isn’t enough for Ross Wilson – he’s now got his sights on winning an individual medal too.

Ross, who suffers from a genetic condition that affects the growth of his bones, needed multiple operations after the 2012 Paralympics, but came back fighting. In an interview with BBC Sport he said: ‘After London, I suffered with a shoulder injury, and that meant a lot of rehabilitation. I also had knee and shoulder operations, so it has required a lot of patience.’

6. Kare Adenegan

Source: // BritAthletics

After watching Hannah Cockroft compete in the London 2012 Paralympics, Kare was inspired to join a local athletics club and in just three years went on to win two bronze medals at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships.

One of the youngest members of the GB squad, 15-year-old Kare is now set to compete in the wheelchair 100m, 400m and 800m races in Rio this year. Expect big things from her.

7. Pam Relph

Source: // pamrelphmbe

Fiercely competitive 26-year-old rowing star Pam is hoping to defend the gold medal she won as part of the mixed coxed four in London 2012.

Despite suffering from psoriatic arthritis, Pam is keen to close the gap between Paralympic and Olympic rowing times. ‘I want to see how close I can get and I want to merge that boundary between Paralympic athlete and able-bodied athlete,’ she said.

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