TWO finals, two medals – no wonder East Lancashire swimmer Tom Hamer could not stop smiling after a Paralympic Games debut to remember.

Two years ago, Rawtenstall’s Hamer was only just making his international para-swimming debut at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

There he made history by becoming the first S14 athlete to represent Team England at the Commonwealth Games, while he also won silver in the 200m freestyle event.

Former Burnley Bobcat Hamer has a habit of medalling on his major international competition debuts – he took silver in the same event at the 2014 European Championships in Funchal while a bronze was also forthcoming a year later at the World Championships back in Glasgow.

And the 18-year-old made sure to keep that run going in Rio, with a second-placed finish in his favoured 200m freestyle on day four of the Games before he then added another silver in the individual medley on the final night of swimming action on Saturday.

That came in a new British record time of 2:12.88 as Marc Evers of the Netherlands set a new Paralympic record of 2:10.29 to clinch gold.

And while delighted with his Rio medal haul, Hamer believes there is still plenty of room for improvement over the next four years towards Tokyo.

“I’m so happy with two silver medals at my first Paralympic Games, I can’t ask for more than that and I’m so chuffed,” he said.

“My family are the greatest support and I love my coach to bits. I can’t wait to get back on the podium now, but I need to do my hair and look glamorous.

“In the 200m freestyle earlier in the week I came second again, I’m happy with that but I wanted more.

“But there’s still a lot of work to do on my individual medley, I hardly ever work on it in training so it’s really good to come away with a silver medal.

“If I put lots of work into this event over the next four years I could do something really special.

“In my 200m freestyle I didn’t get my pacing right, but in this race I tried to put everything into the other strokes and see what I had left in the last leg.

“I’m definitely satisfied with what I’ve done, two silver medals at my first Paralympic Games. I couldn’t ask for any more and hopefully in four years, I can train harder and come back and do a lot more.”

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