Lothersdale archer Danielle Brown was left heartbroken after losing her protest against the reclassification which ruled out her bid for a third successive Paralympic gold medal in 2016.

The former South Craven School pupil lodged an appeal, with the support of Archery GB, against the decision that took place at the World Para Archery Championship in Bangkok in November 2013.

As a result of this protest, a further review was conducted at the recent Para Archery International Classification Hub at Archery GB headquarters in Lilleshall.

This process identified Brown’s classification status as “not eligible” and means that when the new rules come into effect on April 1, she will no longer be allowed to compete as a Paralympic athlete.

However, she is eligible to compete in able-bodied and open archery competitions using her stool as an assistive device, required due to her impairment.

Steeton-born Brown, who is still considering an appeal to the International Paralympic Committee, suffers from reflex sympathetic dystrophy which causes chronic pain in her feet.

The Great Britain star, who won gold at London 2012 and Beijing 2008, said: “I am obviously very disappointed with the outcome. My disability has stopped me doing so many things in my life and archery has been the one thing that gave me focus and purpose.

“Winning gold at London was one of the best moments in my life and now, 18 months later, it's
heartbreaking to learn that I cannot defend my Paralympic title.

“I’m very grateful for the funding support I have received from UK Sport and sponsors, via Archery GB, as this has enabled me to train full time.

“Although I can continue to compete in able-bodied competition, I still have to live with my disability and the funding support I have received as a para archer will come to an end, making life much more challenging.

“I’ve had great support from the British Athletes’ Commission and Lewis Silkin LLP during the protest process and I’m continuing to work with them to explore additional medical evidence and decide if there are grounds for an appeal to the IPC.”

Performance Director at Archery GB Sara Symington said: “We are extremely disappointed that Danielle’s classification status remains unchanged following the protest classification.

“We will continue to support her at this very difficult time and transition funding has been offered.

“We believe Danielle still has an important role to play in archery.”