By Paul Osborne

Penny Briscoe has been named Paralympics GB Chef de Mission for Rio 2016 ©ParlaympicsGBLongstanding official Penny Briscoe has been named ParalympicsGB's Chef de Mission for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, it was announced today.

This will be the ninth Olympic and Paralympic Games Briscoe has been a part of and second successive one as Chef de Mission, following her role at Sochi 2014 earlier this year.

Prior to Sochi, Briscoe was also deputy Chef de Mission at London 2012 and Vancouver 2010.

In 2002 she took on the role of Director of Sport for the British Paralympic Association (BPA).

"I'm absolutely delighted," she told insidethegames following her appointment.

"In fact some mixed emotions really because it's clearly an absolute honour and a bit of a dream come true to lead a ParalympicsGB team into a summer Games, building on the success of Sochi.

"So yeah I'm absolutely delighted, I'm looking forward to getting through to today and cracking on.

"This will be my ninth Olympic and Paralympic Games so I think that from my perspective every Games is a new project, it's a new challenge.

"It's got its excitements and opportunities and I think from my perspective that experience is critical in terms of being a steady hand on the tiller if you like.

"I think it's a really exciting time for Paralympics GB and with the potential to be the most cohesive and strongest support team we've ever fielded."

Penny Briscoe also served as ParalympcsGB Chef de Mission at the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games ©Getty ImagesPenny Briscoe also served as ParalympcsGB Chef de Mission at the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games ©Getty Images

Team GB and ParalympicsGB are looking to hit a historic medal target at Rio 2016 which would see them become the first nation to best their medal tally post hosting the Games.

In terms of Paralympics this target is therefore set at 121 medals, following the 120 won at London 2012.

"This is a massive target," Briscoe, who received an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours last year for her years of service to the BPA and Parlaympic Movement, added.

"The ambition is to be the most successful ever post-host Games nation and I think that continued investment and a bit of maturing of a system that has had heavy investment over the last couple of cycles, from my perspective, it feels like it's starting to pay dividends.

"We've have a fantastic season across Paralympic sports in 2014.

"Some incredible individuals but really, really strong squad performances and I think at this stage in the cycle we can feel pretty positive and very hopeful that the 121 medal target is achievable.

"But you know, we're not standing still just as our competitors aren't standing still.

"London was the most the competitive ever Paralympic Games and there's no reason from my perspective that that trend is going to go anywhere other than continuing to get tougher."

Despite the criticism that Rio 2016 has faced, Penny Briscoe explained that the progress since the FIFA World Cup had been "quit phenomenal" ©TwitterDespite the criticism that Rio 2016 has faced, Penny Briscoe explained that the progress since the FIFA World Cup had been "quit phenomenal" ©Twitter

Rio 2016 has been under a cloud of criticism over the past year due to lack of preparation and quality assurances.

Earlier this year International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president John Coates claimed preparations are "the worst he had experienced" in his long association with the Games, before IOC executive director Gilbert Felli admitted construction work at the Deodoro Complex, where three Paralympic and seven Olympic disciplines will be held, is two years behind schedule.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC), however, praised the "significant progress" that had been made towards staging the Games during its last visit just last week, highlighting their satisfaction with the "integrated approach taken by the city and State Governments and Rio 2016 on the accessibility programme".

Briscoe, who was in Brazil two weeks ago, echoed this latest sentiment adding that "the progress since the World Cup as been quite phenomenal in terms of building".

Although stating that Rio "clearly had work to do", she explained that the BPA are "certainly not panicking" and that she was "sure Rio will deliver a fantastic Games".

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