Paralympian Swimmer Jacqueline Freney pictured with her medals, signing autographs last year.
Paralympian Swimmer Jacqueline Freney pictured with her medals, signing autographs last year. Patrick Gorbunovs

Paralympic awards snub our golden girl Jacqueline Freney

PARALYMPIAN golden girl Jacqueline Freney has been overlooked in the nomination list of Best Female Athlete of the Year category for the 2013 Paralympic Sport Awards held by the International Paralympics Committee (IPC).

The awards recognise the achievements from the London 2012 Paralympic Games and will be held at a special ceremony in Athens in November.

According to Jacqueline's mother Jo Freney, the eight time gold medal winner which includes three world records, is not too happy at missing out on a nomination.

"Jacqueline is understandably disappointed that she has been overlooked," she said.

"(She) has been advised by the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) not to discuss the matter with the media as they are handling any enquiries...on her behalf."

"From our point of view Jacqui won the 2012 Australian Paralympian of the Year so we nominated her for the International Athlete of the Year," APC general manager of communications Tim Mannion said.

IPC Director of Communications Craig Spence said it all came down to not enough votes for Jacqueline.

"We have an awards committee of six people made up of IPC board members, the athletics council, the IPC management team and our sponsors Allianz," he said.

"They voted for their five top favourite athletes and while Jacqueline did get votes, she didn't get enough."

The APC released a statement confirming they are querying the decision.

"I have written to the IPC's chief executive seeking clarification as to both the nomination process and criteria." APC Chief Executive and 2012 Australian Chef de Mission, Jason Hellwig wrote.

Australian Paralympians who received nominations include wheelchair rugby player Ryley Batt and the wheechair rugby team.


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