Andy shines on European stage

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INTERNATIONAL Down’s Syndrome swimmer Andy Banks has just returned from European competition with a clutch of medals and personal bests.

Andy, from Harby, was up against swimmers from England, Scotland, Ireland, and as far away as Slovakia, Sweden, Norway, Spain and Estonia. The 25-year-old gained personal best and gold medal in the 100m backstroke, a silver and PB in the 200m freestyle and set a new improved mark in the 50m backstroke.

Andy was close to his PB times in the 400m freestyle, 200m backstroke and in the 100m freestyle where he claimed a bronze medal.

He also joined an All England relay team where they won gold medals in both medley and freestyle relay events despite stiff opposition from a combined Norway/Sweden team, a very fast Scotland team, and a competitive Spanish team.

His coaches and father Keith are confident he can improve still more ahead of the next World Championships in Italy in 2012. Keith said: “Despite battling against a very bad, cold, Andy swam better than ever to achieve the three personal bests.

“Andy’s friends and family would like to congratulate him on his European success and wish him all the best for his forthcoming events.”

His next competition is in Reading in June followed by the 2011 British Learning Disability Swimming Championships in Sheffield in August.