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Posted onPosted on 17th Sep

Mansfield and Ashfield are celebrating after star swimmers Ollie Hynd and Charlotte Henshaw, who are both coached in Mansfield, won medals at the Paralympic Games.

Hynd claimed two golds and a silver, while Henshaw returned from Rio with a bronze.

Hynd, of Kirkby, ended four years of hurt by claiming gold in the S8 400m freestyle.

He had missed out on gold at the London games, taking a silver medal, and said after breaking his own world record in 4.21.89: “That was amazing. Not a day has gone by when I have not thought about the 400 in London and how disappointed I was.

“Now I’m delighted … I wanted to be under 4.20, but I have got to be happy with a world record. It means everything to me.”

His brother, Sam, had won the event at the Paralympics in China, in 2008.

Ollie then successfully defended the Paralympic gold he won in London in the SM8 200m individual medley on Saturday to retain his grand slam in the event — world, Paralympic, Commonwealth and European titles.

He also achieved his target of breaking the world record in the event, set in 2008, finishing in 2.20.01.

“I have been shooting for the record for a while, so to get it here on the biggest stage of all is incredible,” he said.

“Thank you to my friends and family, without them this wouldn’t have been possible. I hope some children watching are inspired.”

Hynd also claimed silver in the men’s S8 100m backstroke behind China’s Zhou Cong, who won in a world record time of 1:02.90.

Hynd swam home in 1.04.46 — a new personal best and a new British record.

The swimmer was fourth in the S8 100m freestyle, after gaining another personal best in the heats. He was again close to another medal with the 4x100m relay team, who finished fourth.

Henshaw won bronze in the SB6 100m breaststroke after breaking the Paralympic record in her heat.

She swam 1.38.11 to qualify for the final, where she bettered that time but had to settle for third place.

Henshaw, (29), finished in 1.37.78 to add bronze to the silver she won four years earlier in London. It was her eighth major medal in nine years.

“I always say people shouldn’t dismiss a medal at the Paralympic Games,” she said.

“It’s a great thing. It’s very hard to get a medal now so to get on the podium at 29, I’m quite happy with that.”

Mansfield will celebrate the success of the duo at a Rio-themed day of entertainment in Mansfield Market Place, on 24th September, from 11am to 2pm, including samba drummers, jiu jitsu and capoeira demonstrations, and a Brazilian dance workshop.

The two swimmers will sign autographs and young visitors can take home Rio mementos from a medal-making craft activity provided by Mansfield Museum.

Mansfield mayor Kate Allsop said: “We are so proud of what Ollie and Charlotte have achieved.”

Ollie Hynd and Charlotte Henshaw are pictured with their coach Glen Smith.