Hero Thomas strikes gold Down Under
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.”
●● 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