Paralympic cyclist anticipating competition for places at Rio Olympics

National Paralympic Day held at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

A Paralympic cycling star who won three silver medals at the London Games says he hopes programmes to find athletes for the Rio Games will stoke healthy competition for places in Team GB.

Speaking in the run-up to today's National Paralympic Day, Ex-RAF serviceman Jon-Allan Butterworth said programmes such as Help for Heroes and The British Paralympic Association's Frontline to Startline programme, which introduces ex-servicemen to opportunities in sport, could identify rival athletes to keep competition hot.

"I kind of hope I will be pushed for my spot because obviously healthy competition's good and because I'll be pushed to go faster rather than resting on my laurels [and you'll know you're] the best person in for it in Team GB," Butterworth said.

Butterworth had a swift rise to the top of elite paralympic cycling. After losing an arm in a rocket attack in Iraq in 2007, Butterworth turned to cycling, despite not having ridden since childhood. In 2008, he was identified as a paralympic talent. Through a Help for Heroes grant progressed quickly to the top of the sport and in less than four years he was challenging for gold in London and took silver in the 1km time trial, 3km pursuit and the team sprint.

At the Rio Games, Butterworth will be 30 and he says an extra four years of training in the legs after London should make him even stronger.

Paralympic star jon-allan butterworth hopes competition for places in team gb's rio squad will heat up:
Butterworth took three medals in London

"I think I was starting from scratch in a way and I suppose the challenge I had was exactly the same as anyone else who was learning to ride a bike had," he told BikeRadar.

He said the upcoming national track championships at the end of September could reveal the athletes he might have to watch closely.

Today thousands are expected to gather at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London for National Paralympic Day – an opportunity for people to watch and try out various sports and meet some of the stars of last year's Games.

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