Lucy O'Sullivan backs Danielle Brown Paralympic appeal

Jersey archer Lucy O'Sullivan

Great Britain archer Lucy O'Sullivan has backed Danielle Brown's decision to appeal against the reclassification which rules her out of the Paralympics.

World Archery has changed its classification rules, meaning Brown will be unable to defend her Paralympic title in Rio in 2014.

Brown, who has complex regional pain syndrome giving her chronic foot pain, also shoots in able-bodied events.

"She's a fantastic archer, she should appeal it," she told BBC Radio Jersey.

"Quite a few of them have been reclassified as not being able to go to the Paralympics because they can walk or there's some reason as to why they're 'not disabled enough'.

"But if they have a disabled badge then surely they should be going to the Paralympics.

"If Danielle isn't part of the Paralympic team it will have a massive effect on their success."

World Archery changed its classification rules for future events last month, stating that only those with a physical disability which has a "direct and important impact on the archery performance" should be allowed to compete in Paralympic Games and World Archery Para Championships.

And Brown, who beat O'Sullivan by a single point in the able-bodied National Series Championships recently, is being supported in her appeal by Archery GB.

"It's a massive setback for her - she's won the Paralympics twice before and she gets funding as a Paralympic archer so without that classification she won't get that funding any more."

O'Sullivan said there were some issues arising from Brown previously being able to compete against both disabled and able-boded athletes, but said that the 25-year-old's talent with a bow was not in question.

"It's very difficult because you can't tell how much it affects the shooting," she said.

"The only thing that was troublesome for the able-bodied archers was she got all the support from all the coaches, physios and psychologists which we don't get so it did put her a league ahead of us.

"But obviously a disability is always going to affect your life. My dad was disabled and I know how much it affected him so you cant really take it and judge it against other people.

"She's amazing. The difference is she sits down when she shoots whereas we have to stand up but she is a fantastic archer."

Brown won compound gold in both Beijing and London but she has also competed in able-bodied competition, winning compound team gold for England at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

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