Swimming records tumble as Craig surpasses all expectations
Friday 07 September 2012
For Josef Craig this was supposed to be about Rio, a learning experience for four years time. Instead the 15-year-old gave a nerveless lesson in how to swim an event at the highest level; yesterday morning he broke the world record in the heats of the S7 400m freestyle; last night he broke it again and took gold.
It was a performance that could only have impressed the teenage Britons who have preceded him on to the top of the Paralympic podium, Ellie Simmonds, 13 when she won her gold medals in Beijing, and Sarah Storey, 14 when she won two golds in Barcelona 20 years ago.
Craig, from Jarrow, was not only making his Paralympics debut, it is also the first time he has swum in an international event. Prior to this a bronze here in the British trials is his most notable achievement.
"I'm quite shocked by this. I might need a bit of therapy!" he said of a race he won by nearly three and a half seconds from China's Pan Shiyun. "I genuinely didn't think this would happen but I thought 'last 400m of the season, it doesn't matter if I die at the end, just go for it'. I didn't think I had it in me. It means more than anything in the world. It's the happiest day of my life. I wish I could do it all over again." He will have to save that for Rio.
Susie Rodgers won Britain's 100th medal of the Games and her own third with a bronze in the women's equivalent. Steph Millward took her fourth medal in the SM9 200m individual medley, a third silver to go with a bronze, and there was bronze in the same race for Louise Watkin, her third medal, but neither could come close to South Africa's Natalie du Toit, who claimed a 13th gold of her career.
Radamel Falcao exclusive: Forward says joining Manchester United is a 'dream come true'
Transfer deadline day: The best memes and tweets, featuring Radamel Falcao, Javier Hernandez and Bart Simpson
Radamel Falcao analysis: Manchester United have signed a top talent yet to hit his stride
Danny Welbeck signs for Arsenal: Gunners confirm signing of striker from Manchester United
Radamel Falcao to Manchester United: Louis van Gaal takes transfer spend beyond £140m - SIXTH most of any Premier league manager
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: It is only rape if the victim is conscious
- 5 Nigerian witch-finder Helen Ukpabio threatens legal action against human rights organisations
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain