Learning Disability Today
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Special Olympics GB eclipse all-time medal record at European Games

Britain’s Special Olympics stars are celebrating making an historic golden start to the European Games in Belgium, which saw them win 38 medals in the opening 6 days of competition.

With 2 days of the championships in Antwerp remaining (19 and 20 September), the Special Olympics GB team has won 16 golds, 9 silvers and 13 bronzes. Leading the way were the table tennis team, in which Emma Hunt, Jeffrey Jarvis, George Gibson and Jennifer Turner all claimed gold medals – the highlights of which you can watch below:

The success was kicked off by Ruairidh Brown of East Kilbride in Scotland who won the men’s 15km cycling road race with a time of 24 minutes and 15 seconds, and thus claiming the first gold medal to be awarded at the 2014 European Games.

His performance was then replicated by Leanne Peters of Blanefield in Scotland who won the women’s race equivalent over 5km.

Elsewhere, swimmer Kieran Neary from Benfleet was a double medallist having achieved silver in the 100m backstroke with a time of 1.12.19 and then a bronze in the 100m freestyle, beating his own previous best time by more than a second.

By the end of Tuesday’s events, the aquatics team had contributed 7 medals to Team GB’s total. You can see them in action below:

Special Olympics GB communications advisor Chris Hull said: “I have been blown away with the atmosphere, positivity and vibe I am getting across all seven of our sports – incredible. I can’t begin to tell you how exceptional every single one of [our athletes and coaches] have been.”

Among the other successes were:

– Adam Meanwell from Lincoln took gold in the 100m freestyle with a time of 1:00.62
– Kerry Duncan and Mark Goulder won singles golds in the badminton with teammates Samantha Monk and Catherine Carson also collecting medals
– Ann-Marie Reid from Dundee picked up a silver medal in the 25m freestyle in a personal best time of 30.47
– Rosemary Hollingsworth from Bedfordshire, secured a brave bronze medal in her 1km TT race in 2 mins 41 seconds, two seconds ahead of fourth place in a close-run event
– Swimmers Natalie Moon (400m freestyle), Scott Cleaver (400m freestyle) and Maria Orsi (50m freestyle) all achieved personal best times to secure their silver medals
– Twins Alistair and Duncan Feltham won bronze in the men’s doubles badminton.

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