SOUTH Tyneside sporting hero Josef Craig is eyeing up a hat-trick of medals after swimming his way to silver success.
The 16-year-old followed up his 400m gold at the IPC World Championships in Montreal, Canada, with a silver in the S7 50m freestyle.
It was almost a double gold for the Jarrow lad, as he battled it out against fellow British swimmer Matthew Walker, narrowly missing out on the top spot by a mere 0.03 seconds – finishing with a time of 28.53 seconds.
Josef, who suffers from cerebral palsy, regards the 50m as one of his weakest events, but that didn’t stop him adding to his medal haul.
Today he will be competing in the S7 100m freestyle, looking to see if he can end what has already been a remarkable championships for him on a high.
He rewrote the record books on Monday night, when he took gold in the S7 400m freestyle, beating Russia’s Andrey Gladkov in a closely fought contest and knocking almost two seconds off his own world record. Speaking about his latest medal from Canada, his mum Kim told the Gazette: “Josef never ceases to amaze us.
“He has been working really hard – and to take silver in the 50m, it’s just amazing.
“Words cannot describe how I feel, seeing my son achieve so much. We are just so proud of him.”
Josef added: “Thanks everyone for supporting me once again
“I am so happy to know that so many people want to see me do well, so thanks.
“Wow! The 50m freestyle was a very unexpected medal, as it’s my weakest event, but I ain’t complaining. I didn’t think I could ever sprint that quick. It’s all still a bit overwhelming.
“Next time, though, gold is the one to get now.”
Josef, made an MBE after winning gold in the 400m at last year’s Paralympic Games in London, swims today in the 100m heats.
They will be streamed live from 2pm on the Channel 4 website channel4.com/paralympics, with the final featured on the website at 11.53pm.
A highlights programme will be aired on Channel 4 tomorrow from 7am to 8am.