A ‘BLADE runner’ is stepping-up his bid to win a place at the Tokyo Paralympics.

Stuart Meikle has just won a silver medal at the British Paratriathlon Championships, at Eton Dorney, in his first year of competing.

And he is continuing to shave minutes off his finishing times.

Stuart – who only began training for triathlons last September, a month or so after running his first 10k on a blade – was earlier this year awarded coveted membership of the British Paratriathlon talent squad to compete for a place at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

“My training is going really well and my times are constantly getting quicker,” he said.

“When I did Eton Dorney in a different race in May, I completed the course in one hour 22 minutes.

“In the latest event eight weeks later, on the same route, I won silver with a time of one hour 15 minutes.

“As you can imagine, my Great Britain coaches and myself are delighted with my progression.”

Stuart was chosen to race for GB for the first time in June.

He was the only British representative in his category at the event in Besançon, France, where he was up against around nine competitors from across the world.

“I was over the moon to take part,” he said.

“My times are coming down but I need to focus on my training and keep working hard.”

Stuart had his right leg amputated at the knee when he was just six months old due to complications following his birth.

He was inspired to take-up running after visiting Keighley & Craven Athletics Club training sessions, at University Academy Keighley.

Further inspiration was derived from supporting his family at the Great North Run.

And after visiting a prosthetic hospital in Leeds and outlining his ambitions, he was supplied with the latest Steeper-blade running leg.

“I’ve never let my disability stop me from achieving my goals,” said the father-of-three, a painter and decorator by trade.

“I played numerous sports as a child and when I got older began coaching both rugby and football.

“I’ve always been a keen mountain biker, but only really saw that as a hobby.

“It’s unbelievable using the blade.

“I have a prosthetic leg for biking but I’d never previously known the sensation of running – it’s amazing.”

As part of his mission to represent Team GB at Tokyo, he is also raising funds and appealing to the public and business community for sponsorship.

Anyone able to help can contact Stuart via stuartmeikle.com or by twitter, @StuMeikletri, and donations can be made at gofundme.com/stuart-meikle-tokyo-2020.