West Yorkshire Swimmer Set For Paralympic Success

Jonathan Booth

The 18-year old athlete will be hoping to bring a medal back to Holmfirth.

West Yorkshire swimmer Jonathan Booth is hoping to do his family proud in Rio.

The 18 year-old from Holmfirth will be taking part in the Men's 400m freestyle at the 2016 Paralympic Games today.

He made his debut in 2014 and has since become Youth Champion in the mixed class 400m freestyle.

Jonathan suffers from a muscle wasting disease called Charcot-Marie Tooth, which affects around 25,00 people in the UK.

The illness mainly affect the legs and feet, making the muscles weaken progressively over time.

Jonathan will be competing under the S9 classification, which is reserved for participants with severe weakness in one leg.

Speaking on his inclusion in Team GB, Jonathan says  “I’ve worked very hard to get my name on the team sheet and Rio is a really exciting opportunity for me.

“In our sport nothing compares to a Paralympic Games and I know it’s going to be an amazing experience, but at the end of the day it’s all about going out there to give the kind of performances I’ve been training for."

His dad Jeremy spoke to Pulse about his reaction when he first heard his son was setting off to Rio.

"I'm over the moon for him, like any parent would be.

"He was training for the Tokyo Olympics in four years time, so to get picked for this one was a shock to us all.

"We've always said to him, 'Just do what you can in life, that's all you can do', and he's been swimming ever since."

Jonathan began swimming at the age of 4, and by the age of 11 Jonathan was competing at county level, representing Yorkshire across the country.

Jonathan's aim at the games is to get as close as possible or possibly beat the British Record in Men's 400m Freestyle S9, which stands at 4 minutes 26 seconds.

His dad is confident that he can accomplish great things in the future.

"He sees a goal, and he'll go for it.

"He just carries on; he doesn't let anything stop him."



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