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All eyes on Simmonds' bid for glory
Swimmer Ellie Simmonds' quest for London 2012 gold is the British public's most anticipated event of the Paralympic Games, research has suggested.
The 17-year-old's bid for glory in the 100-metre freestyle has topped a poll to find the event that spectators are most excited to see.
A poll of more than 2,000 people saw 10% choose the Walsall-born swimmer in her 100m swim, followed by 7% who picked South African running sensation Oscar Pistorius when he defends his 400-metre title on the track.
British athletes Dave Clarke in the visually impaired football, rower Tom Aggar in the men's single sculls, Sarah Storey in the women's road cycling and track cyclist Darren Kenny made up the top six most anticipated events, according to the YouGov poll.
Simmonds was catapulted into the public eye when she won the 100m and 400m freestyle at the Beijing Games four years ago and has since picked up numerous world and European titles.
She said: "I can hardly believe the Paralympic Games 2012 is just around the corner and I'm completely overwhelmed by all the support and excitement that's already brewing across the UK.
"Knowing that so many Brits are behind us is what's going to make the event even more special. I can't wait to get out there and hopefully make Britain proud."
Tim Hollingsworth, chief executive of the British Paralympic Association, said: "It's great to see that hosting the Paralympic Games in London this year has really made a difference to the nation's levels of excitement and knowledge."
The research, commissioned by Paralympic sponsor Sainsbury's, also found one in four Brits will be watching the Paralympic Games for the first time this year.
Three in five (58%) said this was because the Games were taking place in the nation's capital.