Young Welsh Para-athlete planning to compete for Team GB at the 2024 Paralympic Games

A Welsh para-athlete who competed in this year's World Para Athletics Championships in Paris has her heart set on representing Team GB at the Paralympic Games in 2024.

Funmi Oduwaiye, 20 from Cardiff began her journey as a para-shot put and discus thrower just over a year ago after a knee injury forced her to quit basketball, the sport which she competed in for 5 years.

She said: "I had surgery that went wrong, it was a standard procedure but damaged an artery at the back of my knee.  So I was basically paralysed from the knee down."

Funmi came fourth in shot put at this year's World Para Athletics Championships in Paris Credit: Andries Kruger

Funmi tried returning to basketball but struggled to reintegrate into the sport as a result of her injury.

She was later referred to the late Anthony Hughes from Disability Sport Wales, who recommended her to become a thrower,

"It’s been a hard adjustment, I can't lie. Not just basketball to athletics but also team sport to singular sport.  Being an able bodied athlete to a para-athlete. 

"It wasn’t the plan I had in my head, but God works in mysterious ways so he closed one door and opened an even larger one."

Funmi with her coach, Josh

Funmi finished her first senior GB debut at the World Para Athletics Championships in fourth and sixth-place in F44 shot put and discus.

Her coach, Josh Clark, said: "Finding someone like Funmi is like finding a needle in a haystack so it’s been really beneficial to have another Welsh thrower.

"She missed third by just 20cm so I was really happy with how she performed and how she held herself in such a big environment.  Hopefully next year, with the Paralympics around the corner we can go that one step further and take home a medal."

With a busy winter season of training ahead, Funmi and Josh are hoping to go for gold at the Paralympic Games of Paris in September 2024.