Hero Thomas strikes gold Down Un­der

Rossendale Free Press - - Front Page -

ROSSENDALE swim­mer Thomas Hamer is cel­e­brat­ing af­ter win­ning a Com­mon­wealth Games gold medal – and now wants to re­peat that suc­cess at the next Par­a­lympics.

Hamer broke his own world record on his way to claim­ing gold in the S14 200m freestyle in his only event of the Com­mon­wealth Games on the Gold Coast.

It is an up­grade to the Com­mon­wealth sil­ver he won as a 15-year-old old in Glas­gow four years ago, while he also fin­ished sec­ond dur­ing the Par­a­lympics in Rio two years ago.

Hamer now hopes to have the same suc­cess in the next Par­a­lympics by turn­ing an­other of his sil­vers into a gold.

“It means the world. I was pre­vi­ously a Com- mon­wealth Games sil­ver medal­list in 2014 so it’s al­ways nice to have that lit­tle bit of edge. I’ve been striv­ing for that gold for a long time now so it’s fi­nally come and I’m just over the moon to be hon­est,” he said. “I think I’ve grown up a lot. I was 15 at my first Com­mon­wealth Games, now I’m 19 and I’m a lit­tle bit stronger, bit more ma­ture, wiser, so I’ve grown as a per­son and de­vel­oped more as a man so that’s played a big part in it.

“Mov­ing for­ward we’ve got two years, we’re half­way through the cycle and the Par­a­lympics are com­ing around re­ally soon.

“I don’t want a sil­ver again at the Par­a­lympics so I’m striv­ing for that gold and I’ve got a lot of things to work on in the pool so hope­fully that will work out.”

Hamer in­spired a lot of the lo­cal area, in­clud­ing his for­mer school.

Jo Grif­fiths, Head of Alder Grange School which Tom at­tended, said: “The whole school were thrilled to hear of Tom’s achieve­ments at the Com­mon­wealth Games.

“Win­ning gold is such an amaz­ing feat but to also break a world record too is just un­be­liev­able.”

Vince Caligiuri

●● Rawten­stall swim­mer Tom Hamer poses with his gold medal at the Team Eng­land Hotel in Main Beach af­ter win­ning the S14 200m Freestyle event at the Com­mon­wealth Games

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