Latest news: Congratulations to Charlotte on winning a Paralympic silver medal in the SB6 100m breaststroke! More to follow!!
Finishing fourth in the Beijing Paralympics has given Mansfield swimmer Charlotte Henshaw the drive and determination to succeed at this year's Paralympics.
Charlotte, 24, said it was agony to miss out on a medal at the Paralympics in 2008 and it has merely spurred her on to succeed in her chosen discipline in the future. She has received £2,012 funding from Nottinghamshire County Council as part of its Shining Stars fund to support some of our emerging athletes to help with her training and other commitments.
Despite her disappointment, Charlotte has continued to impress in the pool, last year smashing her own world record while reaching the final of SB6 100m breaststroke at the IPC World Swimming Championships in Eindhoven.
And this has given her just the momentum she needs to really push towards her aim for a Paralympics medal at London 2012.
She said: "Finishing fourth in Beijing was awful. I was so close to a medal and yet just missed out. I had been feeling unwell on the morning of the final and wonder what might have been if I had been well.
"However, the experience has certainly made me the swimmer I am today and I am determined to make every effort to succeed this year. Competing at the Paralympics is amazing, to win a medal would be fantastic."
Last year, in Eindhoven, Charlotte clocked 1.38.46 in her heat – shaving more than a second off her own previous world best and went into the final as the fastest qualifier.
However, the USA's Mallory Weggemann then smashed the world record again in the final to take gold, four seconds ahead of Charlotte who grabbed silver.
She said: "Nutrition, strength and conditioning, keeping up the fitness and swimming regime has been the focus leading up to the Games. You also have to have that self belief that you can succeed – and I am hungry and determined for success.”
Born with a congenital birth defect, Charlotte had to have both of her legs amputated above the knee when she was just 18 months old. She has been swimming since the age of nine and has always swum in the Mansfield area, having been introduced to swimming by her mother.
She quickly got involved in a number of swimming events as a youngster through her club, the Sherwood Seals, and then the Sherwood Colliery Swimming Club as she got older, competing locally and regionally. Charlotte has been a member of the GB swimming team since 2003 and is a member of the fantastic NOVA Centurion swimming club in Mansfield.
Separately, Charlotte was named Disability Sports Person of the Year award by Mansfield District Council, and her coach, Glenn Smith picked up Coach of the Year award for the fourth time, both in the Mansfield Sports Awards.