Ipswich-trained swimmer Ryan Crouch says Olympic success will spur on Paralympians in Rio
- Credit: Archant
Britain’s Olympic success might be seen as a hard act to follow – but East Anglian Paralympic swimmer Ryan Crouch says the show has only just begun.
Far from putting pressure on the second wave of British athletes heading to Rio this summer, Crouch thinks the achievements of Laura Trott, Adam Peaty and co will spur on the nation’s Paralympians.
The 22-year-old, from Manningtree, is currently at Paralympics GB’s swimmers’ holding camp in London.
From there he will fly out to Rio on Thursday.
There Crouch will compete in the 50metres and 100m freestyle – and possibly a relay as well.
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Watch the second half of reporter Edmund Crosthwaite’s video interview with Crouch here. See here for the first half, published yesterday.
And he is confident he and his teammates can continue the medal rush from this month’s Olympics.
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“We’re in a really privileged position as Paralympians to be able to watch the Olympians,” he said after his final training session at Ipswich’s Crown Pools.
“They’ve done fantastically. For us it’s going to be a real boost going in. I don’t think we’ll feel the pressure – we can perform just as good as them.”
Team GB beat its 48-medal target in Rio, winning 67 – but UK Sport wants Paralympics GB’s squad to get 121.
Crouch, who has mild cerebral palsy, swims in the S9 category (for swimmers with weakness in one leg) for freestyle, butterfly and backstroke. He is self-coached but also teaches younger swimmers at Team Ipswich, and thanked Crown Pools for providing him with a training lane for free in the run up to the Games.
Talking about the rest of the swimming squad, Crouch said: “There’s a team of 31 of us plus staff. There are rivals in the camp – I’m one of five in my category – but we all get on really well.”
On his chances in Rio he added: “You don’t want to knock yourself down but I think if I did make a final, out of the two the 50m freestyle is a bigger chance for me.
“I think both swims, to make the final, they are going to take real big swims from me. I need to move on and hit personal best times.”
Crouch said a successful Games would be, at the very least, to come home knowing he has swum his best and enjoyed the experience.
And he added the recent controversy around the scaling back of the Paralympics would not spoil the spectacle: “Once we’re out there people will be watching what the athletes do. I think the fans make it as well.”