Swimming headlong towards Beijing
COFFS Harbour can already boast a swimmer with times qualifying him for the Beijing Deaf Olympics.
Josh Chapman may still be a 13-year-old but rapid progress has not gone unnoticed and his recent visit to the Australian Deaf Games in Brisbane filled the bag with five gold, one silver and two bronze medals.
"One of my times already qualifies for the trip to Beijing but I still need to get a few others up there before I'd be considered for the trip," Josh said.
His gold medal performances came in the 100m freestyle and breaststroke, and the 50m freestyle, backstroke and butterfly.
But the most astonishing twist came when Josh picked up bronze in the 100m breaststroke and backstroke.
"Both the Australian records I set came in those two events," he said.
But how did finishing third lead to record-breaking swims?
"I entered the opens, instead of the age division and the oldest swimmer I took on was aged 32," he explained.
In four of his medal events he set personal best times.
Should Josh eventually qualify for a shot at the Deaf Olympics, the downside is his 'pet' event, the 50m backstroke, isn't scheduled and he'd have to chase a berth in another part of the program.
So, he'll head back to Orara High when school resumes next week with more immediate goals in sight.
"Ahead we've got the school championships and the Country titles here in Coffs," he said.