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January 12, 2005

Swim champ eyes late medal surge at Deaflympics

From:, Australia - Jan 12, 2005

Sarah Wotherspoon
January 12, 2005

AUSTRALIAN swim star Scott Prosser isn't satisfied with two medals from the Deaflympic Games.

The 23-year-old, who took gold in the 100m butterfly and silver in the 400m freestyle, is hoping to touch the wall first in the 200m butterfly and 200m freestyle on Thursday night, and in Friday's 1500m freestyle.

Australia's chef de mission, Brett Hidson, said the team had expected great things from Prosser even before the Games had started.

"I met him a few times before the Games and he certainly impressed me with his performances," he said.

"He has been wonderful and a great person within the team."

Prosser's main competition in the pool is South Africa's Terrance Parkin, who has already won five of his country's seven gold medals.

Parkin has represented his country at the Olympic and Commonwealth level, winning silver in Sydney and gold in Manchester in his pet event – the 200m breaststroke.

But Mr Hidson said he was confident Prosser had the goods for his remaining races.

"We did pencil him in for a good performance before the Games," he said, adding that morale among the Australian team was high.

"They are enjoying the Games immensely," he said. "Much of it has been a developmental process for us, but they are still very enthusiastic.

"For us, it is just great to be involved and playing in front of a home crowd in a sports-mad city."

Mr Hidson said the water polo and the beach volleyball had been learning experiences for the teams.

Australia's first Deaflympic water polo team is making a spirited effort, despite not having won a game, while the men's beach volleyball pair put on an impressive display at St Kilda beach yesterday. "The beach volleyball is new to us and to the Games, and we feel in four years time we will have improved a lot," Mr Hidson said.

Melburnians have embraced the Games: tickets to many events sold out. Today sees the finals in the track and field events at Olympic Park, beginning at 6pm.

Herald Sun

Copyright 2005 News Limited.