Gold is the colour for Preston athletes at the 2017 Invictus Games after a series of successes for the city’s athletes.
Medal contenders from 18 countries descended upon Tornoto, Canada, last Saturday (September 23) to get ready for a week of competitive action.
Former solider Greg Dunnings, from Fulwood, won gold on Tuesday in the Men’s IR6 Four Minute Endurance Indoor Rowing competition, beating New Zealand’s Dan Crawford and Romania’s Adrian-Ciprian Iricuic who tied for silver.
Before heading to Toronto, Greg told the Post: “A lot of people use the Games and its sense of teamwork for rehabilitation. Personally, for me, it’s the competitiveness that helps. I want to win.”
Greg followed former Guardsman Dave Watson, originally from Bamber Bridge, who won gold on Monday in the Men’s IF6 Discus Final, beating fellow Team GB and Manchester-based Lamin Manneh by 87 centimetres.
Dave also secured bronze in the Men’s IF6 Shotput Final on Sunday, losing out to Mannah who secured gold for Team GB and Manchester.
The Invictus Games, organised by Prince Harry, is an international Paralympic-style multi-sport event, in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans take part in sports including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, and indoor rowing.
Greg was on patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in November 2009 when an IED was activated close by, throwing him into the air and seriously injuring his leg.
His leg was saved but Greg endured three months in a wheelchair followed by five months on crutches.
Dave lost both legs and his right arm when he stepped on a hidden bomb while on patrol with the 1st Battalion Scots Guards in May 2010.
Since then Dave has worked as an advocate for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham as part of their Fisher Price project providing support for injured servicemen and their families.