By Emily Goddard

Zoe_Newson_25.07-11July 25 - British powerlifter Zoe Newson has been awarded the title of International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) Athlete of the Month for June.

The 19-year-old from Colchester in Essex claimed nearly half - 48 per cent - of the public's vote in a poll on the IPC's official Facebook page to win the prestigious title.

Newson was shortlisted for the award after lifting 85.5kg - almost three times her body weight - in the 40kg category at the IPC Powerlifting British Championships on June 4, setting a new European record.

The Suffolk Spartans powerlifter only entered her first IPC competition in January 2008 and came second with a lift of 47.5kg.

Since then she has taken part in the 2009 Dwarf Games, represented Great Britain at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sport Federation (IWAS) World Games and won the junior world title at the 2010 IPC Powerlifting World Championships.

Last year she finished ranked fourth in the world at senior level and is now setting her sights on winning a medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

To win the monthly award, Newson beat off stiff competition from two world record holders who were the early pacesetters in the Facebook poll, but Canada's Michelle Stilwell finished second after smashing the 200 metre T52 world record, while Great Britain's Dan Greaves, who broke his own F44 discus world record last month, came third.

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