By David Gold

Wheelchair fencing_May_11May 11 - The British Paralympic Association (BPA) has named six debutants in their fencing squad competing at this summer's Paralympic Games in London.

The only fencer with previous Paralympic experience is men's foil David Heaton, a Barcelona 1992 bronze medallist who has been to four Games.

The last was Athens in 2004, after which he retired, though Heaton returned to action last year.

He is joined by Craig McCann and Simon Wilson in the men's squad, while Tom Hall-Butcher is competing in the sabre class A.

The women in the squad are Gemma Collis, Justine Moore and Gabby Down, a 14-year-old who is sure to be one of the youngest Paralympic competitors at London 2012.

The seven competitors have been involved with the BPA's Talent Transition Programme which fast tracks athletes.

ParalympicsGB Chef de Misson Craig Hunter said: "To have seven fencers selected to represent ParalympicsGB in London is a great achievement and the sport should be congratulated for all the hard work that has gone into getting such a massive increase from the one athlete we had in Beijing.

"It is a testament to the dedication of the athletes involved, the work done by British Disabled Fencing Association and the BPA's talent development programmes, that we are in a position to select so many more world-class athletes from this sport this time around.

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"The selections we are making today are not just about London; the work that has been done in the last four years in this sport will continue to pay dividends for years to come and hopefully we will continue to see this sport grow both in terms of people competing at elite level and people participating at their local club."

Wheelchair Fencing performance manager Justine Willmott added: "The Wheelchair Fencing Performance Programme has really progressed in this Paralympic cycle and it is great that ParalympicsGB will have a much larger team size for Wheelchair Fencing at the London 2012 Paralympics.

"As well as having two fencers competing in the individual events, there will be representation in both the male and female Team events''

Despite the new talents in the wheelchair fencing programme, it will take an impressive effort this summer to compete with China and Hong Kong for medals and claim a place on the podium.

Wheelchair fencing at the Paralympics will take place from September 4 to September 8 at the ExCeL Centre.

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