Tom Hamer will compete at the British Para-Swimming International Meet next week with one goal in mind – defend his 200m freestyle title.
The S14 swimmer will compete in the 100m and 200m events, and has his eyes firmly on the prize:
“I love the meet at Sheffield – it was where I broke my first World Record,” he said.
“And with this being a World Series event you get to race against a lot of amazing swimmers from more countries.
“My goal is definitely to retain my title here though. I go into every meet wanting to improve my PB, but with that being the World Record I don’t want to go into every race thinking I could break that!”
The 19-year-old, fresh from a Commonwealth gold that saw him break his own world record, won an army of new fans in the Gold Coast including Prince Charles who presented him with his medal.
He said: “The Commonwealth Games will always mean a lot to me – it was my first international competition when I was 15.
“But since Glasgow, I’ve grown up a lot. I’m more experienced and a better and stronger athlete.
“It was such an honour to be given my medal by Prince Charles. One day he will be the King and he was just there chatting to me, which was a really special moment.
“He said it was a good race and asked me where I was from, so I told him Burnley and he told me that he knew it well!”
In a busy year, Tom’s next goal will be to qualify for the European Championships squad, taking place in August in Dublin. Then he is planning to spend the autumn in training, but also taking some time out to relax!
When not in the pool the S14 class champion dedicates much of his time to volunteering with his local scout group, the 38th Rossendale district and lends a helping hand every Tuesday night and at camps.
Tom Hamer fun facts:
· He always watches Pretty Woman the night before a big race
· His nickname is Hollywood because of his white smile
· Collects pin badges and currently has more than 100.
· You can follow Tom on Instagram: tomhamer14
Tickets for BPSIM are available here
The draft programme for the event is available here