Cairns swimmer Grant Patterson celebrates medal haul
CAIRNS swimmer Grant Patterson has his eyes firmly set on next year's London Paralympics after returning from the Para Pan Pacific Championships in Canada with seven medals.
Patterson, who was born with a rare form of dwarfism, won four silver and three bronze, clocking five personal bests in the process.
The 22-year-old was especially impressed with his IM swim (3min9.6sec), which was the fastest time of any S3 category athlete this year.
But Patterson believes he can improve for London and achieve a goal he set for himself when he returned to competitive swimming in 2007.
"I can’t wait for the Olympics,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s going to be like the World Championships.
‘‘Everyone’s going to be there. I’ve still got to do a lot of fine-tuning and a lot of work to do before then.
"But I want to win a gold medal for Australia.
‘‘That’s my No. 1 goal."
The Central Cairns swimmer, who trains under Andrew "Herbie" Howard, said the work he was doing outside the water would boost his medal prospects.
"I’m doing a lot of extra gym work and I’ve completely changed my diet," Patterson said.
"It’s just helped me get faster and stronger."
Patterson has also set up a Facebook page, allowing people to follow his progress as he works towards the London
The Australian Olympic trials will be held in April.
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Golden goals: Cairns swimmer Grant Patterson is aiming for gold at the London Paralympics. Picture; VERONICA SAGREDO