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Lyndon Longhorne urges ‘never give up on your dreams’ as he sets new British best

Lyndon Longhorne urged people never to give up on their dreams after he brought his Tokyo 2020 Paralympics to a close with a new British record.

Longhorne was one of three Paralympic GB athletes in action during the final heats session of the Games – with Stephen Clegg the only one to book a spot in this morning’s finals.

Although 25-year-old Longhorne missed out on a spot in the S4 50m Backstroke final, his time of 50.12 was 3.19 seconds faster than his previous British best of 53.31 he set in April.

The Derwentside SC swimmer said: “Yesterday wasn’t great. I took yesterday to rest and recover, I got myself pulled round and thought ‘why not’?

“It’s the last one, I just have to go for it and put everything into the last race and I’m very happy with that.

“That’s the closest I have been to sub 50. As much as I would like to go sub 50, I’m much happier with that.”

Longhorne said he had learned a lot from his Paralympics debut in Japan.

Absolutely amazing

“For me normally, I’m used to competing over two or three days,” he said. “Working out over 10 days and trying to compete and doing eight races I have done, including a final I wasn’t expecting to get, it’s kind of like you’ve got to manage your body and go for it and keep that fighting spirit and not let it die off  – it’s quite easy to be demotivated after one race.

“I wanted to put yesterday behind me, try and move on and think of my little one and everyone back home and just use all that to try and move forward and get through.

“I’m happy with this great experience. It’s a dream I set in 2008. I failed in 2012, I but failed in 2016 – you never give up chasing your dreams at all.

“It’s been absolutely amazing. Why not finish it off with a bang and get a new British record and move onto Paris now in 2024.”

Clegg secured his place in the S12 100m Butterfly final by winning his heat in a time of 59.13.

It ensured he was second fastest qualifier and he will swim in lane five in the final at 10.53am this morning.

Amazing Grace

Grace Harvey reflected on her Paralympic experience after finishing sixth in the S6 100m Backstroke in 1:31.10 – which earned her 12th place overall.

The 23-year-old said: “That was fun – 100 back for me isn’t a focused event but I was here so I may as well swim it .

“I’m happy to finish on a fun event – I have done so many. You train to race and this is the best opportunity there is to race so why wouldn’t I go out there and do everything I possibly can. 

“I think I might cut it down with a bit more experience under my belt but who knows? It’s three years [until Paris] so we’ll see. 

“Next time, the goal is to stand on top of that podium. I really want to hear that anthem play for me – let’s see if I can get a bit quicker.

“I came in expecting nothing – just to make the team was a massive opportunity, a dream come true, everything I have wanted for so long.

“To come away as a silver Paralympic medalist, I’m ecstatic. It still hasn’t sunk in for me really.”