Wheelchair rugby's Greenwich star Andy Barrow ready for Paralympic Games

New Eltham hero Andy Barrow

New Eltham hero Andy Barrow

First published in Sport Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , deputy news editor

WHEELCHAIR rugby will explode onto the Paralympic Games stage today with Greenwich's own star hoping to make a big impact.

The sport, nicknamed murderball because of its fierce nature, will see Team GB open their campaign against the USA at 2pm this afternoon.

Among the athletes is Andy Barrow, a 33-year-old New Eltham player and occasional News Shopper blogger, who is hoping to help the team go at least one better than the Beijing Games when they finished fourth.

He tweeted today: "Today we begin, this is what we've worked so hard for. We're so proud that you're supporting us. Let's hear u roar!"

Mr Barrow, who trains with Kent Crusaders, first heard about the sport when he was undergoing rehabilitation treatment following a rugby injury in 1997.

He captained the wheelchair rugby team at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games describing it as the best experience of his sporting career to date.

The Paralympic competition begins with a round-robin stage, seeing eight teams divided into two groups of four. Team GB's group includes France and Japan alongside the Americans.

In each group, the top two teams qualify for the semi-finals.

The winners of the semi-final matches compete in the gold medal game and the remaining two teams compete in the bronze medal game.

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