UWS graduate and Ayrshire track star Kayleigh Haggo bags new world record

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Paralympic RaceRunner and sport coaching graduate Kayleigh Haggo’s superb performance at a Scottish Athletics Open event has been ratified by CPISRA as a new World Record.

2019 World champion and gold medallist Kayleigh, who has cerebral palsy which affects her balance and motor skills, now holds world records for 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m. Competing at the 4J Studios National Open Series in East Lothian on 30 August 2020 she clocked 37.75 seconds for the 200m.

Before the lockdown Kayleigh, who studied at UWS Lanarkshire Campus, was training for the European Championships in Poland, due to be in June and now postponed to 2021.

She told the Ayrshire Post: “I‘ve used lockdown to work really hard on improving but I was still shocked to set that time. I would have been happy just to do 40 seconds and to be honest, it hasn’t really sunk in yet.”

Kayleigh began RaceRunning aged 12, but took four years away from the sport to focus on swimming. She returned to RaceRunning to compete in the 2018 European Championships in Berlin, Germany, where she won a silver medal. In 2019 Kayleigh was crowned the first ever 100m RR3 RaceRunning world champion at the Dubai World Championships when she won the 100m RR3 gold medal.

RaceRunners use a custom-built three-wheeled frame, where the runner is supported by a saddle and can lean against a chest support. There are no pedals and athletes propel themselves forward using their feet, with hands or arms used to steer.

In 2017 Kayleigh was named one of the 30 Under Age 30 Most Inspiring Women by YMCA Scotland, and received the Rising Star Diversity Award from The Herald.

“I love to run, and with my bike, I don’t have to worry about falling over as I have a chest plate to support me. I can run as fast as I want, which is amazing. It has been my goal to go to the Paralympics. I hope RaceRunning will be in the Games in 2024.”

Kayleigh will be a guest speaker as part of the University’s virtual ‘Sport Professionals in Action’ seminar series on Wednesday 25 November 12:00-13:00 – if you would like to attend email alumni@uws.ac.uk

If you know of an inspiring graduate making the news please email Ewan O’Brien, Alumni Engagement Manager at ewan.obrien@uws.ac.uk

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