Games hopes boost for the golden boy

A PARALYMPIC hopeful made a mighty splash when he picked up five gold medals at a nation-wide swimming contest. Craig Moate, from Barking, swam his way to victory at the National Swimming Championships in Sheffield last Saturday. Organised by charity, Me

A PARALYMPIC hopeful made a mighty splash when he picked up five gold medals at a nation-wide swimming contest.

Craig Moate, from Barking, swam his way to victory at the National Swimming Championships in Sheffield last Saturday.

Organised by charity, Mencap, the event is open to elite athletes with learning disabilities.

Craig, who holds the world record for the 800m and 1500m freestyle, came first in five of his eight races, and second in the remaining three.


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The 24-year-old swimming sensation is a likely contender for the 2012 Paralympic Games, and this performance at the championships will be a key part of the selection process.

Since the 2000 Paralympics, athletes with learning disabilities have been banned from taking part, but it is hoped that following a meeting in November the ban will be lifted.

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Craig's dad, Doug, said: "Craig entered a lot of races, so it was hectic and exhausting - but he was very happy with how it went. I'm very proud of him.

"I hope he gets the chance to compete in the Paralympics. It would mean a lot to him."

Craig, who trains 14 times a week, is now focusing on the Slovakian Cup tournament next month.

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