Paralympic champion Josie Pearson glad to be back on her bike

By Rob WestallBBC Sport Wales
Josie Pearson explains sport switch for Rio Games

Paralympic discus champion turned hand cyclist Josie Pearson is happy to be back on her bike.

Pearson, 29, was forced to cycle in first gear throughout her debut event at the UCI Para-cycling World Cup in Italy due to a technical fault.

The issue has now been resolved and she is now gearing up for the Abergavenny Festival of Cyclingexternal-link in August.

"It took a couple of weeks to get the bike back, so I had to train on a static bike," she said.

"It was frustrating, but it's just bad luck.

"Training without it [the bike] just makes you really appreciate being out on the road."

Pearson, from Hay-on-Wye in Powys, won gold in the F51/52/53 discus, and broke the world record three times, at London 2012.

But she decided to switch to hand-cycling as the discus is no longer part of the Paralympic programme for Rio 2016.

She will take part in a time trial in Abergavenny on Sunday, 9 August and says she has a lot of work to do to get up to speed for the Paralympics.

"I know it was a huge risk changing sports, but as an athlete that's what you thrive on," she said.

"I'm taking it day by day. I've gone from a power to an endurance sport.

"So far I'm really loving being out on my bike and cycling.

"I'm just concentrating on increasing my endurance fitness.

"It's going to take a good few months to build that up so hopefully next season I can compete."

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