A nine-year-old autistic boy was disqualified from a swimming competition because he swam ‘too fast’ in the final.
Rory Logan was competing in the Special Olympics Regional finals in Bangor at North Wales.
He swam the 50 metres in 1 minute and three seconds in his heat, qualifying for the final, a publication reported.
Despite being the youngest competitor, Rory, from Co Antrim, won the race and smashed his time with a personal best of 53.15 seconds.
But his mum Briony said as the medals were being handed out, she realised he being given a ribbon for participation instead of the gold medal he was expecting for first place.
Seeing her son so upset, Briony considered withdrawing him from the remainder of the finals. However, Rory competed in two further finals, winning gold for both the relay and 25 metres.
Briony said: “Rory swims with mainstream swimmers at Coleraine Swimming Club three times a week as well as being a member of the Causeway Coast Special Olympics Club.
“He loves to swim and is so proud of himself when he does well. Rory is a good swimmer and it’s something he has for himself that he can excel in and now he is being put down for trying hard.
Although Briony appealed the decision it was turned down and Rory’s personal best time will no longer count as he bids for a place at the All Ireland’s.
She added: “I am so gutted for Rory, if he had been beaten fair and square there wouldn’t be an issue but how do you explain to a nine-year-old child that he could miss out on something he was aiming for simply because he swam too fast!”