England's Katrina Hart, a 100m T37 gold medal winner at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, has been voted the International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) `Athlete of the Month' for October 2010 after winning a public vote.
In a closely fought poll, the 20-year-old University of Bath student claimed 48% of the public vote and left Canadian Kyle Pettey, who set a new world record in winning Commonwealth Games Shot Put gold F32/34/52, in second.
Born with cerebral palsy, Hart was introduced to Paralympic Sport aged 14 and one year later won a bronze medal in the 100m T37 at the 2005 European Championships in Finland.
At the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games she finished seventh in the 100m T37 final, however her greatest performance to date was in winning gold at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi last month in a British record time of 14.36 seconds.
In addition to preparing for January's IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand and the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Hart is also a third year Sports Performance student at the University of Bath.
Katrina said: “I’m really pleased to win this award and I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me. I’m now back in training for the World Championships in New Zealand January and then it’s London 2012. I can’t wait.”
Nominated alongside Hart and Pettey in the IPC's `Athlete of the Month' for October 2010 were Nigeria's Kate Nwaka Oputa who claimed Commonwealth Games gold in the
Women's Singles Wheelchair Table Tennis, Australia's 1500m T54 Commonwealth Games gold medal winner Kurt Fearnley and Wheelchair Basketballer Daniel Robert Highcock who made world headlines after shooting a basket from well inside his own half during a Spanish league game.
Each month the public is asked to vote for the IPC's `Athlete of the Month' from a shortlist of five candidates via www.facebook.com/ParalympicSport.TV
Previous winners in 2010 are as follows:
January: Alexi Salamone
February: Mariann Marthinsen
March: Canadian Wheelchair Curling Team
April: Sinisa Vidic
May: Katrin Green
June: Padraic Moran
July: Chinese Women's Sitting Volleyball Team
August: Daniel Dias
September: US Wheelchair Rugby National Team