GO SHELLY go! That was the chant from wheelchair racer Shelly Woods’ hometown fans as she made her first attempt for a medal during yesterday’s 5,000m race in London’s Olympic stadium.
And they are backing her to bounce back from disappointment to leave London with a marathon gong.
Woods, from St Annes, finished with a disappointing 8th position in the race - the event she took home bronze in from Beijing - after losing out to Swiss racer Edith Wolf in a sprint finish.
The 26-year-old was roared on back home by the union flag waving crowd in Lytham’s Park View 4 U cafe, and they remain confident the former Highfield High School pupil will still be bringing a medal back to the Fylde coast.
Over the next week she will compete in the 800m, 1,500m and the marathon.
Aurelio Arcinega, who works with Shelly at Blackpool Council, said: “I’m disappointed for her but I know what she’s like, and this is not her best event.”
Heather Nelson, who lives on Freckleton Street in Lytham, added: “I was really excited when she was in third. But it was the first race and she has plenty more - everyone is behind her locally.”
And Kila Redfearn, one of the trustees at Park View 4 U, said: “She was absolutely amazing and she will do well in one of her other events.”
The park cafe is screening all the daytime Paralympic events on its big screen, with St Annes teenager Myles Pearson also taking part as one of the star’s of GB’s wheelchair rugby team.
And Cath Powell, from Park View 4 U, added: “The atmosphere in here was lovely and the whole Olympics has been like that.”
Woods races again in the 800m heats tomorrow morning - with the final on Wednesday night - followed by the 1,500m heats on Thursday morning - with a Friday night final - before Sunday’s marathon. Team GB’s wheelchair rugby matches start on Wednesday.
Blackpool fencers David Heaton and Justine Moore are also competing.