City of Sunderland pair close to Rio dream

Matt Wylie
Matt Wylie
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Sunderland para-swimmers Matt Wylie and Josef Craig are closing in on selection for the Paralympics in Rio.

The 19-year-old City of Sunderland swimmers pressed strong claims by meeting qualifying times at the British Para-Swimming International event in Glasgow this week.

Josef Craig

Josef Craig

Wylie broke the British record in the 50m freestyle on the final day of racing.

He had already knocked time off the S9 British record in the heats and then set a new best time of 25.69 in the final - the fastest time in the world this year.

Wylie said: “I could not be happier really. It would mean the world to me to go to Rio.

“It’s what gets you out of bed in the morning and what drives you in a hard set. It’s just everything really.

It would mean the world to me to go to Rio.

“Thanks go to Sunderland for the amazing support network we have set up.

“London 2012 really pushed me on. I was a part of an inspiration group who got to go in the village and watch some of the sport and that was a great experience that really motivated me.”

Craig - who burst to national prominence by winning gold at London 2012 aged just 15 – took the bronze medal in the multi-classification race, achieveing the qualification time in his classification after touching in 27.27.

At the weekend he was crowned gold medallist in the Men’s 100m Freestyle, finishing in a time of 59.32, and also won the silver medal in the the 400m Free with a time of 4:36.06.

“To know I have a QT for the Rio Games is something I can’t describe right now,” said Craig.

“I just wanted to make my team proud,” he added.

Selection for Rio will be announced on May 16.