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Gold medal wins help student on road to Paralympic dream

Reece Palmer, centre, with other members of the Mencap England Disability Squad (from left) Emily Rawlings, Nathan Wells, Robert Pearsall and Matthew Whitehead.

Reece Palmer, centre, with other members of the Mencap England Disability Squad (from left) Emily Rawlings, Nathan Wells, Robert Pearsall and Matthew Whitehead.

TRIPLE gold is bringing a Durham student closer to his Paralympic dream.

Reece Palmer, 19, took another step to competing in Rio after winning several gold medals at different athletics events within weeks of each other.

The New College Durham student, who has learning difficulties, joined around 100 other sportspeople with learning disabilities from across the UK to compete in The Royal Mencap Society’s 17th Open National Athletics Championships in Manchester.

Despite bad weather, Reece won medals in all three events in which he entered: gold in the 100m, gold again in the 200m and silver in the 400m.

A week later, hee participated in a three-day event in Evreux, France, where he continued his winning streak by picking up four gold medals in 100m, 200m, 400m and 4 x 100m relay. The teenager’s fellow students raised some of the money to help fund his trip to France, and New College Durham donated the remainder.

Reece, who also beat cancer in 2012, said: “Without New College Durham and the other students, I would not have had the opportunity to compete at the French Championships and return home with four gold medals.”

After returning from France, he took part in Disability Sports Events’ National Athletic Championships and took the national champion and gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 400m.

 

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