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YSPOTY contenders: Dan Lucker Q&A

Dan Lucker
Dan Lucker enjoyed a superb 2010, dominating the junior ranks and breaking through to senior competition as well

Dan Lucker, 17, made the breakthrough into the senior Great Britain team for the first time at the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester this year, finishing fifth in the 100m and sixth in the 200m.

It was an inevitable step up for an athlete who has dominated the junior ranks, winning five gold medals and one silver at the World Junior International Wheelchair and Amputee Federation Games, earning himself a nomination for this year's Young Sports Personality of the Year.

Here are his answers to the questions posed by the School Reporters from St John Wall Catholic School in Handsworth, Birmingham. And you can find out more about the other nine contenders for the Young Sports Personality of the Year prize here.

Q: What inspired you to start doing your sport?

At the age of about 10 me and my family moved to Wales. When I was 12 a leaflet was put through the door about a wheelchair sports spectacular. I attended and it got me thinking about sport. I was spotted and asked to try wheelchair racing and from there it's all I've wanted to do.

Q: What is your biggest ambition in your sport?

My biggest ambition in sport would be to win a gold medal at a Paralympic Games in the near future - if not London in 2012 then Rio in 2016.

Q: What was your first big achievement in your sport?

My first achievement that I always think of when asked this question is my first ever win at the London Mini-Marathon, but my biggest achievement to me and the one I'm most proud of is winning five gold medals in the Junior World Championships.

But there are so many more that I'm equally proud of like coming fifth overall and being the second Brit across the line in the Tyne Tunnel 2km international race which is advertised as the hardest wheelchair race ever.

Q: What is your best memory from your time in the sport?

My best memory from sport would be from the 2009 World Championships when I won the 1500m. It was a very slow race and very tactical. I was boxed in by the two Australians in the race and it looked as if i was going to be third, but in the last 300m I managed to get away from the athletes and take gold.

Q: What do you do to unwind and relax away from sport?

Away from sport I like to think of myself as a normal teenager. I like to spend time with my friends when possible and when I'm not doing that I love listening to music or social networking.

Cee Lo Green
Cee Lo Green's Forget You was a big favourite for Dan

Q: What is your favourite song of 2010?

My favourite song of 2010 changes a lot. I listen to the radio or my iPod a lot and every other song you hear, you think "oh I love this song, it's my favourite" but I think that my real favourite would be Forget You by Cee Lo Green.

Q: Who is your role model and why?

In sport I have a couple of people that have really inspired me, including Chris Hallam. He was my coach in the earlier years up until 2009, he had won multiple British records and London Marathons in his time.

Then there is David Weir. I train with him now, he is a two-time gold medal winner at Paralympic level, who holds multiple British records. And there's Marcel Hug, a Swiss athlete who is now holder of the 800m, 1500m and 5km world records.

Of the three, I would consider David Weir to be my role model because of all his achievements and the time he gives to help me in my sport.

Q: Apart from your own success, what has been your favourite sporting moment of the year?

My favourite sporting moment this year would be watching the 800m world record be broken by Marcel Hug. The record had been around for a very long time and it looked like it was going to be around for even longer, and then out of nowhere the young Swiss athlete blows everyone away and breaks it by more than a second.

Q: Who would you pick to compete against if you could choose anyone who has ever played your sport?

I guess, in a sense, I'm quite lucky to have been able to race people like Marcel Hug and David Weir: they are considered the greatest athletes in my sport. If I could race anyone in the world, I would chose these two athletes.

Q: What kind of sacrifices have you had to make to get to where you are?

To get where I am in my sport I have to train a lot. I only have one day off each week, and this means not having the most active social life.

One of the biggest sacrifices I have had to make is not seeing my friends as much as I would like to. This doesn't sound so bad but it really can be at times.

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