Jarrow Paralympic Swimmer Takes Gold

7 September 2012, 06:06

15 year old swimming sensation Josef Craig, from Jarrow, smashed the world record to became Britain's youngest Paralympic gold medal winner.

After he won he said
"It's the happiest day of my life.''

He appeared overcome with emotion after storming to gold in front of a roaring aquatics centre crowd.

Craig, who has cerebral palsy, broke the world record he set in his heat by comfortably winning the 400m final.

His face will now be put on an official Royal Mail stamp along with all the other Olympic and Paralympic gold medal winners.

Speaking after the win, he said:
"I genuinely didn't think this would happen. I thought, it's the last 400m of the season, it doesn't matter if I die at the end, just go for it, it doesn't matter.

I didn't realise that I'd broken the world record, I didn't think I had it in me. But obviously because of this great crowd again and all this support, I managed to.

It means more than anything in the world. It's the happiest day of my life." 

The teenager, who was struck down with Grave's disease last year, a thyroid condition which causes substantial weight loss, was widely tipped to succeed at the Rio games in 2016, but stunned everyone with his dramatic win.

Speaking straight after the race, his beaming mum Kim said:
"I watched him from the poolside. I think I am about to pass out. I am so proud.''

ParalympicsGB have now smashed through the 100 medal barrier - beating their haul in Beijing and just three away from their pre-games target, which is expected to be surpassed tonight. The total includes 28 golds, 37 silver and 35 bronze.

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