Sunderland golden boy Matt Wylie earns short break

Matt Wylie
Matt Wylie
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Matt Wylie is set for a well-earned holiday following his gold-medal winning performance in Rio but won’t stay away from the pool for long, according to mum Glynis.

Wylie made it a Paralympic Games debut to remember when he won the men’s 50m freestyle S9 final last Tuesday, adding to the European title he won earlier this year.

We managed to get really good tickets right at the finish line and the expression on his face when he won was amazing.

He was cheered on by Team Wylie in Rio, with mum Glynis, dad Mike, grandad Laurence, twin sister Emma and older sister Hannah all making the trip out to Brazil to support him.

Family time together has been a rarity in recent months with City of Sunderland swimmer Wylie leaving home all the way back on August 14 to start his preparations for the Games.

He’s also left his girlfriend Emma – also a swimmer – back at home since then but the two will be reunited this week, with Wylie flying back with the British team on the same day his family return home.

“We’re all so proud of Matt and what he’s managed to do, this is seven years of hard work and he’s managed to achieve his dream,” said mum Glynis.

“It’s felt like he has been away from home for ages, he left in mid August for two weeks training in Manchester and then he had a holding camp in London before Rio too.

“We managed to see him briefly after he won his gold, and then we had a day together on Thursday where we were able to reflect on things.

“We’re all going to land in London around the same time and then we’ll drive back home together and can see everyone.”

For Glynis and the rest of the family, nerves were high as Wylie took to the pool for his gold medal swim – he also competed in the heats of the men’s 100m freestyle S9 and helped the 4x100m relay team finish fourth.

The 50m freestyle is often referred to as the splash and dash event but the 19-year-old kept his cool to edge out Australian Timothy Disken by just four hundredths of a second.

“We managed to get really good tickets right at the finish line and the expression on his face when he won was amazing. It was a really close race, the top six races were separated by 0.23 of a second,” Glynis added.

“We then were able to get in a really good position for the medal ceremony and I remember Matt running through the photographers afterwards to find us all for a quick selfie.

Wylie’s long-term coach Danny Thompson was also out in Rio with Glynis quick to pay tribute to his efforts in helping to mould her son into a Paralympic champion.

She added: “Danny has been amazing, he is so dedicated to Matt and all his swimmers yet he will happily step back and not take any credit for it.

“He (Matt) is going to take some time away from training until Christmas time but he’ll no doubt be wanting to help out at the club.”

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