Paralympics 2012: Danielle Brown trains sights on title defence

2012 Paralympics

  • Date: Wednesday, 29 August to Sunday 9 September

Coverage: Extensive daily coverage across 5 live, 5 live sports extra and the BBC Sport website

While double amputee Oscar Pistorius's appearance at the London 2012 Olympics grabbed the headlines, disabled athletes have long been making their presence felt at the very top of non-disabled archery.

Despite being legally blind in one eye, South Korean Im Dong-Hyun has committed his drawing action so precisely to muscle memory that he holds the world record amongst those unhindered by such a physical disadvantage.

In Danielle Brown, Britain has a crossover star of its own.

A three-time world title winner and the reigning Paralympic champion in the individual compound, she also won gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games as the first athlete with an impairment to be selected to represent England in a non-disabled event.

Other British crossover stars

Sarah Storey, a winner of seven Paralympic golds, was dropped from the Olympic cycling team pursuit team in December. Laura Trott, Joanna Roswell and Dani King went on to win gold without her.

Craig Maclean, who represented Great Britain in cycling at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, will be the tandem pilot alongside Neil Fachie at the 2012 Paralympics.

Brown says that the non-disabled scoring system demands a consistency that strengthens her performances overall.

However, when the two squads come together, she has no doubt where her loyalties lie.

"We did a training day with the Olympic men's recurve team. It was great shooting with them with the Olympic head coach and a biomechanist, but we had a bit of a joke with the Paras versus the able-bodied," she told BBC Sport.

"We have a different bow type which is faster, more accurate and more powerful.

"They had all their coaches with them, so it was a lot of fun and really competitive training."

Brown says she can't "just shoot", explaining that it takes the extra edge of competition to bring the best out of her.

It looks a fairly shrewd piece of self-assessment considering she has not lost in a major championships since emerging on the scene in 2007.

There is a small but important blemish on her record, however.

At May's London Para Archery International - a test event for London 2012 - Brown lost 7-3 to Russian Stepanida Artakhinova in the final.

She insists that there is nothing in the Woolwich Artillery Barracks venue that has spooked her or blunted her usual sharpness.

"It could be anywhere, it could be in a high street somewhere," she added.

"I don't want to get too caught up in where it is and where it could be, I just want to concentrate on shooting a target 70m away.

"I learned a lot from the test event it was a big motivator the sort of kick up the backside that I needed.

"I find losing is a bigger motivator than winning. I wouldn't say that I have become complacent because I know my competition is good and, if I am not at my very best, then I will get beaten."

With a first class law degree in her back pocket, Brown knows precisely how important possession of the Paralympic title is as her rivals attempt to steal it from her.

With the threat of defeat lurking, she is preparing a watertight case to keep her crown.