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Paralympian to race without wheelchair for the first time in 26 years

In an interview with Yahoo7 Sports, Australian Paralympian John Maclean explains that he will be racing in the Nepean Triathlon this weekend without his wheelchair which he has needed for the past 26 years.

The 48-year-old is no stranger to tough challenges. He was the first wheelchair-bound triathlete to finish the Hawaiian Ironman and swim the English Channel. He represented Australia at two Paralympics, including winning a silver medal in rowing in Beijing. But, he says the local race this weekend, taking place just outside of Sydney, will be the “biggest challenge of my sporting career”.

It was on a training ride in 1988 in preparation for the same race that Maclean was hit by a truck that left him with only about 25 per cent nerve activity in one leg. Last April he began working with Gold Coast-based therapist Ken Ware who has helped him get back on a conventional bike and take his first steps.

In the interview Maclean explained, “It takes everything with the leg braces and walking poles to stay upright…if I think of something else or look somewhere else I’m likely I’ll fall over.”