Breen bows out after life-changing experience

Olivia Breen in action in the 200m yesterday
Olivia Breen in action in the 200m yesterday
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Olivia Breen bowed out of the Paralympics last night after enjoying ‘the time of her life’.

The 16-year-old rounded off her Games with eighth place in her third and final event – the T38 200m.

Despite failing to get among the medals last night, it has still been a tremendously successful competition for Breen, who is set to return to her school lessons next week.

The City of Portsmouth athlete, who has cerebral palsy, took bronze in the T35-38 4x100m relay on Tuesday night.

She also finished fifth with an excellent performance in the T38 100m last weekend.

Her parents, brothers and grandparents were among the crowd at a packed Olympic Stadium last night to cheer her on.

Breen will now return to Bohunt School, Liphook, on Monday for her GCSE year.

And her mother, Helen, believes London 2012 has been a magnificent experience for her talented daughter.

She said: ‘Livvy did really, really well last night in a very tough field.

‘She is only young and to win a medal and get to two finals exceeded all our expectations.

‘I am sure she can run faster but it has been a really hard week on a big stage.

‘It has been just phenomenal.

‘She has had the time of her life and this experience gives her something to build on for the future.

‘Livvy has got the World Championships next year in Lyon and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow the year after that.

‘She will go away and look at the tapes and DVDs of her Games and look to improve on that and do even better next time around.

‘As a family we are really proud of her to have come this far.

‘She’s still a baby, though, and it’s back to school on Monday.’

Meanwhile, there are two more local athletes scheduled to feature in the capital today.

Portsmouth Northsea swimmer Lauren Steadman goes in the S9 100m freestyle.

The heats are to be held at 9.40am with the final set for 5.37pm.

And Fareham-based Ross Morrison will represent Team GB against Japan in the wheelchair rugby (3pm).

The former Portsmouth Grammar School pupil was also in action last night.

He helped the host nation to a 57-50 triumph in their second match in Pool A.