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Bundy boy set for 2012 Paralympics

Bundaberg’s Rheed McCracken has made the Australian Paralympics team for the 100m race.
Bundaberg’s Rheed McCracken has made the Australian Paralympics team for the 100m race. Mike Knott

BUNDABERG'S Rheed McCracken is headed for the 2012 London Paralympics after taking out the 100m title at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Championships in Dubai.

The talented 14-year-old Bundaberg High School student completed the 100m wheelchair race in 16.86 seconds - 0.14 of a second less than the qualifying time needed.

The win landed the inspirational teen a spot on the Australian team and his father Brad McCracken said he could not be prouder.

"It's very exciting," Mr McCracken said.

"We knew he had the possibility with those times, but it's just getting it to happen on the day."

Mr McCracken said Rheed also competed in the 200m race, coming second with a time of 30.5 seconds, just half a second off the qualifying time.

The youngster will also compete in the 400m, 800m and 1500m races before flying home on Thursday.

"We're all over the moon," Mr McCracken said.

"I got the phone call at 2am with the news."

Rheed has certainly earned his place on the Australian team, with training and fitness sessions six days a week.

"It's his dream," Mr McCracken said.

"He's the youngest member of the team."

Rheed, who has born with cerebral palsy, has been in a wheelchair for about two years.

"He's only been racing in the chair for about 18 months," Mr McCracken told the NewsMail

"He made the choice to be in the chair because it's less painful."

Mr McCracken said his son was passionate about the sport and the Paralympics.

"He likes promoting disabled sports," he said.

"It's hard work, but he enjoys it."

The Paralympics will be held in London next year from August 29 to September 9.

"He was determined to get there one way or the other," Mr McCracken said.

"We're very proud of him."

Topics:  dubai, london, london olympics, london paralympics, wheelchair


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