By David Gold

Finland mens_goalball_3_AugustAugust 3 – The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced the candidates in contention for July's Athlete of the Month award, with six athletes and two teams in contention for the prize.

Finland's men's goalball team (pictured top) recently won the Malmo Men's InterCup, laying down a firm marker ahead of London 2012, beating Sweden in the final.

They are in contention for the prize along with Australia's men's wheelchair basketball team, who were undefeated at the recent World Challenge in Sydney, beating Britain to win the competition.

The reigning Paralympic champions will be favourites to retain their title in London this summer.

Jiří Ježek (pictured below, foreground) of the Czech Republic won the overall UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup title this year after winning the road race and time trial in the C4 at Baie-Comeau in Canada last month.

Another athlete who had a superb July was Blake Leeper; the American equalled Oscar Pistorius' 100 metres T43 world record of 10.91sec at the Boiling Point Track Classic in Windsor, Canada.

Jiri Jezek_2_3_August
Britain's Sophie Wells excelled at the Hartpury Festival of Dressage last month, dominating the top two spots in the grade IV.

Poland's Natalia Partyka made it to the third round of the London 2012 Olympics in the table tennis, being knocked out by Jie Li of the Netherlands.

Partyka is one of two Paralympians who are competing in the Olympics; the other of course being South African Paralympic champion Pistorius.

The final contenders for the July award are Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot of the Netherlands.

The wheelchair tennis doubles pair won both Wimbledon and the British Open during July, putting them in great shape for the Paralympics.

The public can vote on the winner until midday on August 8 on the website.

August and September's athlete of the month awards are to be combined due to the Paralympic Games, and will include three winners; an individual male, female and a team.

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