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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 January 2006, 19:56 GMT
Athlete's stolen leg is returned
John McFall
The athlete said he was determined to perform well now his leg is back
A disabled athlete's running career looks to be back on track after his specially-adapted leg, stolen in a car theft, was returned to him.

Cardiff-based amputee John McFall, 24, was facing missing a major European race after his prosthetic running blade was stolen along with his car.

But the bespoke leg was handed in by two men at the Welsh Institute of Sport in Cardiff on Thursday.

Mr McFall said he was "very delighted" to get the artificial limb back.

The carbon fibre leg was in the boot of the athlete's Ford Focus which was stolen from the institute a week ago.

Mr McFall who is number three in the world in his class at the 100m and 200m, had thought the theft of the leg he would jeopardise him competing in a European meeting in Germany next month.

The returned prosthetic leg
The specially-made limb is worth around 3,000

So he said he was very surprised when the limb was handed in.

""I'm very happy," he said. "It's a massive weight off my mind because I don't have to worry about getting something sorted out for Stuttgart."

"The limb is very important to me because it's purely bespoke and its essential for me to train and compete."

South Wales Police who are still investigating confirmed they had received a report of a stolen Ford Focus and appealed for anyone with information to get in touch.

To get another one made would cost about 3,000, but he said he had learnt from the experience that it would be good to get a spare prosthesis made.

Winter training

"It's absolutely no use to anyone else and I do thank the media for the coverage that's been given on this in helping me get the leg back," added Mr McFall.

He said he had managed to do some training - in the pool and the gym - while the limb was missing and he hoped to perform well in the exhibition event at Stuttgart in a couple of weeks' time.

"I've been feeling really good this winter and have a good winter's training behind me.

"I know I can run well and I hope I can do it for everybody who supported me so well."

See John McFall's delight at getting his artificial running leg back

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