MATTHEW Hamilton took another step towards his dream of competing at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games by becoming the top ranked 60m sprinter for his age group in the country.
The 16-year-old from Benfleet has just clocked eight seconds at a meeting in Newham to move to the top of the 60m charts for under-20s in the T47 category.
The King John School Sixth Former, who has Erb’s palsy, also holds national records in cycling and his mum Tracey says he would love a place at the Games in Brazil.
She said: “He has set his sights on a place at 2016, but it may come a bit too soon for him because he will still be very young for a para-athlete and will be up against fully grown men.
“But he works very hard and is getting some great results, so he’s doing all he can do to give himself a chance.”
Matthew, who is on a national Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence programme, has a condition which was caused by an injury at birth which affects the use of his right arm.
He mum says he got into sport late because he was teased at school – but that he’s enjoying having the last laugh now.
She also revealed how Matthew was inspired to take up sport after going to the London 2012 Paralympics.
“We went to watch the table tennis at the Excel Arena and it made him think about what he could get involved in,” she said.
“He really is what they are referring to when they talk about the legacy of those Games.”
Matthew also holds C5-class, under-16 national records in cycling for the 200m Flying Start (14.297s), 500m Standing Start (41.967s) and 2km Standing Start (2m 57.251s), which were all set at the velodrome.
Tracey said: “His main love is cycling, but he tried athletics in Sheffield last year and because he was a natural they wanted him to do that too.
“We did not even realise he had set those cycling records until we got the letter through, but it was a nice surprise.”