Suffolk Sports Personality of the Year has slim chance of making next year’s Rio Paralympics

Brian Alldis receives his award from councillor Terry Clements

Brian Alldis receives his award from councillor Terry Clements - Credit: Photo: � Keith Mindham Photogra

Newly-crowned Suffolk Sports Personality of the Year, Brian Alldis, is remaining optimistic as he reflects on a mixed year in handcycling.

The 29-year-old, who lives in Creeting St Mary, is the current British national road race champion and also won the Ride London Handcycle race in August, finishing the 15-mile circuit from Kingston to the Mall over one minute 15 seconds quicker than his nearest competitor.

The Rio Paralympics is the big target for Alldis next year, although the former wheelchair racer, who competed for Great Britain at the 2008 Paralympics and for England at the Commonwealth Games, two years later, is far from guaranteed a place on the plane to Brazil.

“That’s still the aim and I still have a slim chance of getting there and I am currently seeking funding to pay for my new bike, which should help me improve,” said the West Suffolk Wheelers member.

“But British Cycling look for athletes with medal potential and I missed out on those this year so I have got to up my game.”

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Alldis, who got married last month, said he had no complaints with the selection criteria however and said missing out on the Rio Games could potentially benefit him in the long run.

“We have a group of coaches on the committee and the decision comes down to them. It’s all done really well and there are no political issues involved,” added the rider, who was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

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“It’s a little bit disappointing because my training at the start of the year went perfectly, but I hit some bad form at the wrong times (at the Para World Cup and Time Trial) and have missed out on opportunities throughout the year.

“But that’s how sport goes and if I miss out on Rio, it will give me a five-year cycle to work towards Tokyo and the Paralympics in 2020.

“Whatever happens, it was such an honour to race at the Beijing Games in 2008 and be part of the British team.”

Alldis won the main honour at the awards evening at Trinity Park on Friday night, ahead of fellow nominees Reece Topley (cricket), Chris Walker-Hebborn (swimming), Lewis Ludlam (rugby union) and Josh Webster (motor racing).

Squash player Lucy Turmel picked up the Young Sports Personality of the Year award, while Bury St Edmunds Rugby Union Club were named the team of the year.

Awards coverage - Pages 66-67

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