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University of Lincoln students help Paralympic cyclist prepare for Rio

A world class Paralympic cyclist is preparing for Rio 2016 with help from sports scientists at the University of Lincoln.

Liz McTernan, a 49-year-old mother-of-two from Louth, will work with researchers in the University’s School of Sport and Exercise Science to improve her performance between now and the 2016 Paralympic Games.

Liz was paralysed from the waist down in an accident in 2005 and took up cycling as part of her rehabilitation.

Liz said: “There are enormous benefits to be gained from using the technology available at the University’s Human Performance Centre.

“I receive no financial support so I have to raise all my own funds to train and compete. To add in the cost of specialist tests like the ones I will be able to access through the university would be prohibitive.”

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Liz competes in the Women’s Handbike 4 Category and is Great Britain’s number one, number two in Europe and ranked sixth in the world.

Her next race is the European Handcycle Federation event in Italy in September 2014, where she aims to reach the number one women’s ranking in Europe.

So far Liz has already undergone some biomechanical testing as the university revealed an aspect of her rotation style was leaving her prone to injury, and she is now working with her coach to adapt her technique. 

Dr Sandy Willmott, from the School of Sport and Exercise Science at the University, said: “Working with elite athletes is a win-win situation.

“We can provide them with access to cutting-edge testing in the Human Performance Centre, along with expert advice about how to apply those results to their training and competition.

“In return our staff and students have the opportunity to work across a diverse range of activities, each of which requires a unique approach and perspective. This provides wonderful experience for the students involved, and can lead to the development of new research techniques and opportunities.”