Super swimmer Jack Lyons picks up gold in Downs Syndrome World Championship


Super swimmer Jack Lyons has returned triumphantly from the Down’s Syndrome (DS) Swimming World Championships.

The 15-year-old took part in the 25m junior and 50m senior events in Nova Scotia, Canada, against 25 other nations.

The Welling resident picked up gold in the 25m junior breaststroke, where he swam a personal best.

He was then pipped to the post in the 25m junior freestyle, but set a new Junior European record of 15.97s with his silver medal.

Jack, who lives in Lingfield Crescent with his mum, Susan Ponton, said: “It was exciting and I felt proud because my mum was there watching me.

“It was awesome and fantastic being there with all my friends from the GB squad.”

It was during a disability swimming gala in 2016 that Jack was spotted by a DS national coach.

He was invited to a training camp on the Isle of Wight in January 2017.

Jack with his mum, Susan

Coaches offered Jack a place after he impressed during their first training session. He took part in his first international competition in Paris in November.

Jack first came to the Mercury’s attention in April when he and team GB team mate Bill Birchmore beat Charlton Athletic stars Josh Magennis and Jake Forster-Caskey in a race.

Jack said: “My idol is Billy Birchmore as he holds so many world records in DS swimming. My goal is to break records as a senior.”

He has been enjoying a well earned break since the championships in Canada, but he will start training again this month with his eye on the European Championships in Italy next year.

He is aiming to train hard and set world record times in the Junior 25m freestyle and backstroke events.

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