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Old 29th Aug 2006, 07:33   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Back of beyond
Posts: 697
Airline mislays athlete's leg

Airline mislays athlete's leg
29 August 2006

In just seven days Paralympic athlete Kate Horan is due to line up in the 100 metres at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Assen in the Netherlands. But there's a hitch British Airways has lost her leg.

The Wellington athlete's $10,000 running leg has been missing for more than a week, sitting somewhere in a London warehouse with 20,000 other pieces of luggage.

"It's the worlds this is the biggest event apart from the Paralympics," Horan said. She has been preparing for the championships for two years.

Since British authorities foiled a terrorist plot to attack flights out of Heathrow Airport, increased security has forced travellers to limit their carry-on luggage.

For Horan that meant she had to check in her running leg for the short flight from London to Amsterdam a week ago.

It was the first time the unique leg was not with her as carry-on luggage. And British Airways told her there was little it could do. "They said there's 20,000 bags sitting in Heathrow and mine is just one of them. I was told they don't know where it is."

Horan is now in a race against time with manufacturer Otto Bock and Ossur, which will attempt to build her another leg in time for the world championships. "I head to Holland today," she said. "And I'm going straight to the factory. These sort of legs take weeks to fine tune. At the moment that's the only possibility I've got.

"All the time that I should be training and getting myself ready, I'm going to be spending trialling this leg and trying to get a leg that fits."
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