Kent

Para-athlete John Smith stolen wheelchair found

Specialist racing wheelchair Image copyright John Smith
Image caption John Smith tweeted that his chair had "turned up" at his door.

A para-athlete who feared he would miss the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games after his custom-built wheelchair was stolen, has had it returned.

John Smith said he found it dumped outside his mother's home in Meopham, Kent, where he once lived.

The wheelchair was stolen from his van at nearby West Kingsdown on Tuesday night.

Mr Smith told the BBC it was "a bit strange" as the chair "appeared out of nowhere" on Friday afternoon.

Its steering bar had been damaged but he said he was confident it could be repaired in time for him to compete.

It is understood three people have been arrested over the break-in.

The para-athlete, who competes in the T54 classification, had feared his dreams of racing at the Games were over.

The chair is custom-built for him and there would not have been enough time to make a replacement.

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