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1ST LEAD Stolen running blades returned to German Paralympics hope By dpa correspondents

Europe
Von unserem dpa-Korrespondenten und Europe Online   auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Washington (dpa) - German Paralympics gold medal hope Vanessa Low expressed relief and gratitude Sunday when she got word that her stolen running blades had been returned.

"My legs got returned this morning," Low said on Facebook. "Thank you for all your love and compassion!!"

She said she did not have them yet but had been told they would be returned to her.

"Words cannot describe what I was going through the last few hours," she said. "From anger and disappointment to gratefulness for all the compassion displayed by all of you."

Low sent the appeal from the Desert Challenge Games in Arizona, where she had qualified for the 100m and the long jump. She asked Facebook users to repost her message to help her find them.

On Sunday she thanked her supporters for sharing her message, saying "this was the reason I was able to get them back."

Low, who lost both legs in a train accident when she was 15, is a gold medal hope for Germany in sprint and long jump at the Paralympics this year in Rio de Janeiro.

The blades are made to measure and Low estimates their overall cost at 35,000 euros (some 40,000 dollars). She had earlier pointed out that she had no spares, and every day she had to go without them was a day she could not train.

Her initial Facebook appeal also asked for donations in case she had to buy new blades.

On Sunday she said she would refund the money to people who contacted her. She said donations given by people who do not ask for a refund would be given to the Never Say Never foundation, which helps children with running legs.

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