Lancaster swimmer Josh Thompson admitted his surprise at leaving the Sainsbury’s 2013 School Games with two medals – adamant his aim was just not to finish last in Sheffield.
The Carnforth Otter claimed silver in the 100m breaststroke at Ponds Forge before returning to form part of the England North quartet for the 400m medley team event, where he won bronze.
The 15-year-old, who attends Lancaster Royal Grammar School, was among more than 1,600 athletes at the games in Sheffield, with swimming one of 12 sports taking place.
Thompson was also making his debut at the games and was shocked to have not only not finished last in the pool but to have improved all the way to the podium on two occasions.
“It feels fantastic because it was my first time at the games and I didn’t really have high hopes but if you have a positive mental attitude then things will work out,” said Thompson.
“And I’m really happy about it. I wasn’t expecting anything really, I was just hoping not to come last and that was my aim but winning silver individually was unbelievable.
“I was very surprised and it’s beyond belief. I was overwhelmed and it’s just awesome. I wasn’t too nervous but on the way down it got worse and worse and by the time I was on the blocks I was shaking a bit. I just tried to keep calm and get it done.”
Thompson last appeared at Ponds Forge less than two months ago for the ASA National Youth Championships, where he reached the semi-finals of the 100m breaststroke.
He took a break in the aftermath and, having returned immediately to competition and won two medals, Thompson is upbeat about what he can achieve this season. “I expected it to be a bit like Nationals but with a lot more people and a few more spectators. Everything was great and it all went to plan,” he added.
“It’s a fantastic way to start the season and I’ve only been training for about two weeks and to come back after a month of rest and pull something off is amazing.
“It gives me a lot of confidence and reassurance.”
The Sainsbury’s 2013 School Games, which is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, was held in venues across Sheffield from 12-15 September 2013. Visit www.2013schoolgames.com for more information