Fox snares first swimming gold

First published in National Sport News © by

Jonathan Fox became Great Britain's first Paralympic champion in the pool at London 2012 after he won a thrilling S7 100 metres backstroke race at the Aquatics Centre.

The 21-year-old had lowered his own world record this morning in the heats, dipping under one minute 10 seconds for the first time.

Effectively, the race was a duel between Fox and Yevheniy Bohodayko with the Briton appearing to have sealed victory by the 75m mark. However, the Ukrainian came back with every stroke but Fox held him off to touch in 1min 10.46sec to upgrade his silver medal from Beijing.

After leaving the water, Fox played to the crowd who were ecstatic.

Fox said: "It was a good time - 1:10 - I thought I was going to pip the world record again. I am very happy I got a gold medal.

"In the final it's all about getting that gold medal around your neck which I have done so I am really happy."

The Plymouth-born swimmer realised how close his rival was getting in the final metres and admitted it became a struggle.

He said: "When I turned at 50 I was feeling good but the last 25 my legs blew up.

"You are always thinking in the back of your mind 'I can see the guy in lane five coming back' and you are dying inside and you just want to finish it. I just stuck to it and hit the wall fast."

Of his celebrations where his inner showman emerged, whipping up the crowd in all parts of the venue, Fox said: "It comes once every four years and you just want to stop time for a second and feel the atmosphere."

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