JAMES Ball is aiming to star at the velodrome at Rio 2016 – four years after injury ended his dreams of a place at the London Paralympics.

The 24-year-old from Ponthir has made a stunning start to life on the bike after switching from being a sprinter on the athletics track last August.

Ball was talent spotted by British Cycling and has now earned a place on their World Class Performance Programme squad based in Manchester.

The visually-impaired cyclist has joined forces with pilot Craig MacLean and the pair are targeting March's UCI para-cycling track world championships in Montichiari in Italy, then the Paralympics in September.

"It's been crazy, everything has gone so quickly and it's been through trial and error. I used to be a sprinter but I suffered a grade three hamstring tear and missed out on London," said Ball, who also swam for Wales as a youngster.

"I had about five or six injuries last year, it was mentally tough and it reached the point where I thought 'I can't do this anymore'.

"Then a British Cycling sports development officer from Manchester came to test me and some others and things just went from there.

"I'd never cycled before but things went well then in November I took part in Manchester Para-Cycling International and came away with a bronze.

"I never imagined that it would go like this but I've got Craig as my pilot, so they have put me in with the best. Now I am aiming for the World Championships in March and then Rio 2016."