Forest Gate wheelchair athlete excited by Olympic Torch Relay

An heroic wheelchair athlete from Forest Gate has seen his achievements rewarded in a starring role at the Olympic torch relay.

Sheikh Sheikh has competed in five London mini-marathons, at the Swiss National Championships in Zurich, and will take part in the UK School Games at the Olympic Stadium in May.

But he will rate his part in the torch relay as one of his proudest moments after overcoming adversity as a child.

The 16-year-old, who was nominated by teachers at Langdon School, said he was excited by the prospect of helping to carry the flame through Newham on July 21.

He said: “I was very happy to find out and I am very excited to be there. I’ll be one of the few people in history to hold the Olympic torch in its home country.

“And it’s in our borough as well.”

Sheikh was paralysed after he was hit by car in Kenya in 2002 but he has steadfastly refused to let his disability

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hamper his ambition to become a world-class athlete.

He credits the Paralympic gold medallist David Weir as his mentor, and will be looking out for him at the 100m, 200m, and 1,500m event at this years Paralympic Games.

Currently studying AS level sports science, Sheikh plans to go on to university and then to become a professional athlete.

He said: “My family and friends have said that I am an inspiration to young people.

“I just get so much joy from being a wheelchair racer.”