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Ramsbottom golden boy Matthew brings home medals
8:59am Monday 2nd September 2013 in News
A TEENAGER from Ramsbottom who represented his country at a prestigious international sporting competition for people with dwarfism has “gone for gold” — bringing home seven medals.
Woodhey High pupil Matthew Topping, aged 13, travelled to the USA to take part in the Dwarf World Games, held in Michigan.
Matthew achieved a gold medal in football as well as silver in boccia, badminton doubles and 25-metre backstroke, bronze in floor hockey, basketball and bronze and a personal best in discus.
The Ashborne Court teenager competed as part of an 81-strong Team GB, who together came second in the overall medals table with 192 medals — 71 gold, 70 silver and 51 bronze.
Matthew, who was diagnosed with growth-stunting condition achondroplasia at the age of six months, said: “Representing my country was a great thrill. The experience of competing against and making friends with people from 17 countries around the world for Great Britain made me very proud. As I was in the 12 to 15 age group I didn’t think I would get an individual medal but I managed to get two, which was much more than I had hoped for.
“As a member of Team GB, one of the many highlights was our gold medal-winning performance against the USA in football — where I was the goalkeeper.”
World champion footballer Matthew just missed out on medals in javelin and shot putt in the track and field disciplines, achieving fourth and fifth place.
One of 395 athletes from around the globe who competed representing 23 nations and every US state, he dreams of becoming a Paralympian.
Matthew said: “I hope with hard work I may get the opportunity to compete at the Paralympics.”
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