London 2012 Paralympics: Anderson’s coach says 18th medal may be beyond legend
JIM Anderson has won a medal at all five Paralympics he has attended, but a top-three finish could be beyond him in London according to his coach Kerry Wood.
The 49-year-old was bitterly disappointed after coming home eighth in the final of the 100m freestyle in a time of 2:31.33. Since his Paralympic debut in Barcelona 20 years ago, Anderson has claimed six gold, nine silver and two bronze medals – making him one of Britain’s most decorated Paralympic swimmers of all time. But after his last place in the freestyle final, Wood is conscious of how tough it will be for Anderson to add to that tally in the 50m back or the 50m freestyle. She said: “We would love a medal from one of the events, but we are realistic that there are a lot of new swimmers coming up in his class. It’s not to say he’s not going to try and give it his best, but it’s going to take an amazing swim from Jim to get a medal.
“He’s a little disappointed with the 100. He knows he made some errors technically in the race. His start wasn’t the best and the turn again wasn’t what we’ve been practising, so it’s a bit unfortunate that those things didn’t work out. He was faster up the first 50 by two seconds than in the morning, so the swimming was good but the technical skills let him down. It might have been the excitement and the emotion that made him lose concentration. It’s a massive crowd and that’s the first time Jim has gone in front of the crowd here in a final.
“Even though he’s been to five Paralympics, this is something that is different to him. He’s been nervous going into it but in a good way. He’s been really excited and training very well so that was an unfortunate result. He has a day off so we’ll work on the starts and turns, but we really need to refocus his mind because that will have knocked his confidence a bit.”
Meanwhile, Edinburgh’s Sean Fraser was left hugely frustrated after crashing out in the heats of the 50m freestyle. The 22-year-old had set a personal best on the first leg of the 4x100 freestyle relay on Sunday night, but could not repeat the trick as he came home in 28.20 – only enough for 11th overall.
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