Paralympic medals are a must for star trio, says Bath coach
The Bath coach who has guided three track and field stars to international success admits that Paralympic podium places are a must next week.
Both Katrina Hart and Paul Blake have won world titles while training with Rob Ellchuk at the University of Bath, while Ben Rushgrove claimed a dramatic silver medal with a broken foot at the Beijing 2008 Games.
And Ellchuk says similar results are a must if the athletes are to fully justify the financial backing they have received from UK Sport.
"It's important they come out of the Games with something," he said.
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"The expectation is to win six medals between the three of them – that's what their funding is for and that's what my expectation is.
"Kat and Paul are both World Champions and Ben has been there and done that, even been broken and done that.
"This will be the first major championships – and I wish I had some wood while I'm saying this – that Ben could show up for having not had a major injury in the previous six months.
"That's a first, going right back to the start of Ben's career, so he'd better do well!"
Ellchuk, pictured, has lower expectations for the fourth member of his training group who will be competing in London.
Sophie Kamlish only began full-time coaching last year after being talent- spotted on the Sport England Playground to Podium scheme.
"I don't want to put any pressure on her," said Ellchuk, who hails from Canada but has been working in sport development at the University of Bath since June 2004.
"If everything went absolutely brilliantly for her, then potentially she could get a medal in the 100m but just to run in two finals would be a great achievement.
"I'd hesitate to say the [talent-spotting] programme is working – there are two athletes in total on the ParalympicsGB team who have come through Playground to Podium – but in this particular instance it has.
"Amazing athletes are like cream – they will always rise to the top."