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South Jersey Paralympian Goes for Gold in London

The "world's fastest amputee" prepares to defend her gold medal at the Paralympic Games in London.

The self-described “world’s fastest amputee,” April Holmes is ready to add more Paralympics bling to her medal count.

The Somerdale native will compete in two Paralympics events in London—the 100 meters and 200 meters track events. Holmes won gold in the 100 meters at the Beijing Paralympics. She also has a bronze medal in long jump from the 2004 Paralympics, not to mention a long list of medals from championship meets dating back to 2002 and world records in the 100, 200 and 400 meters.

“It’s been four long years … I am finally in the London 2012 Paralympic Village,” Holmes said in a YouTube video. (Click on the video, right, to view.) “Really excited to be here. I feel like it’s taken forever for four years to go by from the time we left Beijing to the time now that we’re obviously here in London.”

Holmes will defend her 100-meter gold beginning on Sept. 1, with the final on Sept. 2. The 200-meter race preliminary race is on Sept. 5 and the finals on Sept. 6.

Holmes, 39, lives in Kissimmee, FL, and is coached by Al Joyner, himself an Olympic gold long jumper.

Paralympians compete under a classification system that ranks disabilities based on their level of impairment. Holmes competes in the T44 classification for athletes with amputations. She lost her left leg below the knee in a train accident and competes with a prosthesis

The Paralympics run Aug. 29-Sept. 9. For a full list of events, athletes and more, visit the London 2012 Paralympics site.

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