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Last Updated: Wednesday May 20 2009 14:58 GMT

I'm competing in the Paralympic World Cup

Ellie Simmonds

The Paralympic World Cup is about to get under way in Manchester.

More than 400 disabled athletes from at least 31 countries are taking part, including some of Britain's stars of last year's Paralympic Games in Beijing.

One of them is celebrity Press Packer Ellie Simmonds who wowed the world when she won two swimming gold medals in China.

Here's her story:

"To prepare for the Paralympic World Cup I've been training really hard.

Adam checks out Paralympic World Cup preparations

Last weekend we were racing as well so we're getting used to being back racing, eating lots of the right food to get energy and all the things like that. All the components that go together to race well.

May is our season for competitions so I've been preparing since Christmas.

To fit in my training around school I have to be really organised and I have to be on a routine.

Busy time

School finishes at 3pm. Tuesdays and Thursdays we have gym at 3pm and then training at half past.

 Ellie in the pool racing
Ellie racing

I have to be really organised. I finish training at 5.30pm and schoolwork and everything like that has to be done then.

My friends are really excited for me. Whenever I got to competitions or go to meet people they always ask how I've done.

Unexpected gold

I'm really looking forward to this weekend. It's the first time that all the people who do the 100m free (100m freestyle swimming race) have been together since the Olympic final of the 100m free in Beijing. Its really good to see how they're racing.

Paralympic World Cup
The first World Cup was in 2005
Track Cycling and Swimming events have been extended in recent years
This year, it's being held over five days
More than 400 athletes are taking part

Before the Paralympic World Cup, there's a special event where I'm doing my main event which is the 400m free. And the 200 IM (200m individual medley swimming race).

For the world cup, I'm doing my race that I got my unexpected gold medal in at the Olympics, the 100m free which isn't my main event so it was a bit of a surprise to get it.

Now that I got the gold medal there is a bit more pressure on me to do well in that event, but I just put pressure to one side and go in and swim well and do the best that I can do.

Ellie with her 2 gold medals at the Beijing Paralympics
Ellie with her 2 gold medals at the Beijing Paralympics

For me nerves are good. They make me swim better and feel more excited.

After the Olympics I was really looking forward to going back to school because I hadn't seen my friends for ages - for three months.

It was amazing to be in Beijing, but I was looking forward to just going back to normal life.

Things changed a bit in the weeks after the Olympics because there were things that I had to do but now I've just got a normal life with school and stuff like that.

I'm doing as much training now as I was before Beijing which is nine times a week. I train three mornings before school and every night after school.

The World Cup is really good because people from all around the world come to a competition which is in Great Britain and it's getting supporters ready for the London Olympics.

Ellie, 14, Swansea, Wales

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