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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Former 'naughty boy' Gabe Cole heading to London

Former 'naughty boy' Gabe Cole heading to London

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LONDON BOUND: Gabriel Cole will compete in the London Paralympics.

Malvern athlete's golden run
Local News
by Emily Griffiths
Eastern Courier
20 June 2012

RUNNING around the school oval, Gabriel Cole's speed always demanded attention.

But it was attention from an unlikely source which changed his life.

"I was always told I was a fast runner," Cole, 20, of Malvern, says.

"But it was my French teacher, Ellen Bailey, who got me into athletics.

"I owe a lot to her now."

Ms Bailey organised a talent scout to attend a Mercedes College athletics tournament, which cemented Cole's future as an athlete.

Four years later, Cole, who was born with a partially formed left arm, has already represented his country at the Delhi Commonwealth Games in his T46 disability category. At that event, Cole made the final of the 100m despite competing with a torn hamstring. But his greatest career achievement could be just weeks away.

"It's a bit early to talk about career highlights," he said.

"But I don't think anything will compare to London."

Cole will compete in the 100m and 4x100m relay at the London Paralympics and is hoping for a medal.

Cole goes into the competition in red-hot form, with his personal best of 11.13sec less than half a second off the world record.

"I wouldn't have considered (the London Paralympics) if I didn't think I'd be competitive," he says.

"I've always wanted to run under 11 seconds and this would be the perfect opportunity."

But Cole, who studies architecture at university, insists he already feels like a winner.

"I was a normal, naughty boy (before athletics) and now I'm super determined," he says. "Athletics really has given me a lot."

Cole will compete in the relay event on Wednesday, September 5.

The following day, he will run in the first round of the 100m and hopes to progress all the way to the final.

Gabe Cole is coached by Steve Butler.

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