Love-lee for Peterborough basketball star Manning who is off to play for Great Britain in the Tokyo Paralympics

Peterborough man Lee Manning is heading to the Paralympics again with the Great Britain Wheelchair basketball team.

By Alan Swann
Thursday, 8th July 2021, 1:14 pm
Lee Manning.
Lee Manning.

The 31-year-old will be in Tokyo for an event which runs across three weekends from late August to early September.

Manning has been a long-standing part of the GB set up and is no stranger to international success.

Just three months after joining his local club, Peterborough Phoenix, Manning was invited to attend his first GB Junior Camp and earnt a call-up for his first international tournament, representing GB at the 2006 U22 European Championships.

After assisting GB to silver, Manning was promoted into the GB senior team and soon made his debut for them, playing at the BT Paralympic World Cup as well as tours across Europe and Australia.

He narrowly missed out on selection for the London 2012 Paralympics after being named as first reserve.

In 2014, Manning made his major debut for GB at the 2014 World Championships and the following year helped the team to European gold and a place at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, where he was part of the team that brought home the bronze medal.

During GB’s historic title winning 2018 World Championships, Manning was a key points scorer and a key figure under the opposition basket, before being part of the team that added another European title in 2019.

Manning said: “Being selected for a second Paralympic Games means everything to me. In Rio, it was my first Games, I was one of the rookies on the team and it was a great experience to go out there alongside so many experienced athletes and enjoy it and do the best job I could for the team. I absolutely loved it.

“It’s obviously going to be a different experience in Tokyo due to Covid, but also because I’m going to be heading out at a different stage of my career now.

“We’re five years on from Rio where a little more responsibility might fall on my shoulders. But I’m ready for that and I will do everything I can to support the team.

“This period has been extremely challenging for everyone around the world and I hope we, as a team, as ParalympicsGB and the whole Paralympic movement, can be a positive movement everyone can get behind, be inspired by and enjoy watching.”

Great Britain will carry the added pressure of being one of the favourites for gold in Tokyo as the men and women’s teams are ranked numbers one and two in the world respectively.

Rower James Fox is another Peterborough Paralympian heading for Tokyo where his mixed quad will be favourite for gold, while gymnast Tony Jarman is first reserve for the GB Olympic gymnastics team.