Hometown: Watford (originally from Fiji)
Event: Discus, Shot put
Games: London 2012
Previously a keen Rugby player, Derek Derenalagi was injured by a roadside bomb in 2007 while on a tour of duty in Afghanistan. The injury resulted in the loss of his legs and ever since, Derek has focused on athletics with discus as his chosen discipline.
Derek became a Paralympian after being spotted at a Paralympic Potential Day in 2008. He was further developed by the Battle Back programme, a joint initiative between the British Paralympic Association and the Ministry of Defence, with support from Help for Heroes. The programme helps injured troops recuperate through sport. Derek later enrolled on the BPA's Talent Transition Programme to progress in his sport.
With good upper body strength, Derek was a natural for throwing events, and in June 2012, he became the European F57 discus champion. This was only three years after taking up the sport.
At the 2012 IPC Athletics European Championships in the Netherlands, Derek won Gold in the F57/58 discus. He made his Paralympic debut at the London 2012 Games, competing in the F57 discus event. At the same time, he became the first Fijian to represent Great Britain at the Paralympic Games. Although he did not win a medal, he received enormous support from the crowd.
In the future, Derek would like to work as a fitness instructor.