TOM Hamer was quick to dedicate his performance to his parents after he broke the British record on the way to claiming silver in the men’s para-sport 200m freestyle at Glasgow 2014.
One of three para-swimmers in England’s swimming squad for the Commonwealth Games, the 15-year-old had been cheering his team-mates on from the side of the pool since Thursday.
But his big moment arrived on Saturday, and third fastest in the morning heats with a time of 2:02.11 minutes, Hamer, a member of Burnley Bobcats, stepped it up in the final, powering home in 2:00.27.
It was not enough to take the gold with Australia’s Daniel Fox, who set a new world record of 1:57.16 in the heats before winning gold in 1:57.89, but nothing could wipe the smile off Hamer’s face.
“It feels fantastic to win a silver medal – I pushed myself and I’m really happy with that swim,” said Hamer, a pupil at Alder Grange High School.
“I couldn’t really see how close I was as I was breathing to my left but then on the way back on the last length I could see I was second.
“I had family in the crowd and I want to dedicate that win to my parents Liz and Darren who have supported me so much.
“I’m going to show everyone this medal, I’m so happy.”
Earlier this year, Hamer, who trains under Michael Robinson at the Bobcats, won 200m freestyle gold at this year’s British Championships, a result that marked the start of a busy period leading into the summer for the teenager.
And while his performances in the pool at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are now over, there is still plenty to look forward to for Hamer.
Next up are the IPC Swimming European Championships in Eindhoven in August and Hamer admits he will be quickly back into training.
“I’m hoping to get another medal at the European Championships and there will be no Australians there too so that will be good,” he added.
“I’m going taper until then and work a bit more on my speed.”