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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 September 2005, 15:30 GMT 16:30 UK
Disabled archer to fly union jack
Mel Clarke
Mel Clarke holds six International Paralympic World records
A young athlete who was left paralysed and blind in one eye two years ago will lead the British team at the World Disabled Archery Championships.

When Mel Clarke, of Taverham, Norfolk, contracted Lyme disease, an infection caused by a tick bite, in 2003, doctors said she would not fire another arrow.

The 23-year-old, who took up archery more than six years ago, is now the world's number one disabled archer.

On Saturday Miss Clarke flies to Italy for the championships.

"I am delighted to have been invited to carry the flag at the world championships, and will do all I can to win gold for Great Britain, Norwich and Norfolk," Miss Clarke said.

Beijing Olympics beckon

Last weekend, Miss Clarke was presented with a state-of-the-art wheelchair for the trip.

More than 8,000 was raised by the local community for the wheelchair and to support Miss Clarke's travel expenses.

Miss Clarke said: "The wheelchair is absolutely fantastic. It means that I will use less energy getting around and will be able to focus all my attention on the archery."

Miss Clarke holds 10 national able-bodied records and six International Paralympic World records and plans to represent the UK at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008.

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