* Photo by Ras Mykkal. Double Paralympian bronze medallist Anjali Forber-Pratt says Bermudians Jessica Lewis and Paul Alves have the talent to go far in their sport.
* Photo by Ras Mykkal. Double Paralympian bronze medallist Anjali Forber-Pratt says Bermudians Jessica Lewis and Paul Alves have the talent to go far in their sport.
The sky is the limit for local para athletes Jessica Lewis and Paul Alves.

That's the view of multiple Paralympics medallist Anjali Forber-Pratt who reckons her Bermudian counterparts have the potential to go far in the sport.

Lewis and Alves both harbour lofty ambitions of representing Bermuda in the 2012 Paralympics in London. And judging by their impressive performances during last week's KPMG Invitational Front Street wheelchair race, it would appear they are well on the way to achieving their goal.

"They are going to blow the world away!" was the way Pratt summed up the pair's recent performances. "They are training so hard working with coach Swan (national track and field coach Gerry Swan) and I look forward to great things from them in many years to come.

"This was their first competition and for it to be right here on the island is unbelievable - I am so happy for them. This was an outstanding moment for Bermuda and the Windreach Program."

American Pratt, who competes on the University of Illinois track team, won two bronze medals at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing.

In addition to the mile race, she also participated in last week's 10K. If all goes according to plan, Pratt hopes to do it all over again next year.

She said: "With the crowd being out here and cheering everyone on it was so much fun. I am just so happy to be a part of this event - it was a blast!"

Sixteen year-old Saltus student Lewis agreed.

She said: "It was amazing.... the adrenalin rush kept me going. I was aware of the other competitors and I have never had the experience of having people come up beside me and in front of me.

"I had to try and get in front of them which gave me more of a boost of energy. I'm looking forward to competing again with other athletes."

Also chomping at the bit for more competition is Lewis' compatriot Alves.

He said: "It was awesome and I am ready for more. The competition was very tough, but it was good practice for the Paralympics in 2012 in England.

"I was very pleased with my performance and I now I have to concentrate on keeping it up and getting better."

Alves and Lewis are bidding to become Bermuda's first wheelchair competitors in athletics.

They recently got a boost in their bids to take part in the next Paralympics when each received competition-style wheelchairs that were put to the test in the island's capital last week.