Clinton Stanley shows off his six gold medals from the Masters Games in Adelaide.
Clinton Stanley shows off his six gold medals from the Masters Games in Adelaide. Contributed

Golden Stanley smashes records

CLINTON Stanley's career is entering uncharted waters, his mother says.

The Cooroy swimmer won six gold medals and set six long-course records for Down syndrome competitors 35 years and older at the Australian Masters Games in Adelaide last week.

He competed against mainstream swimmers in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle, and the 100m and 200m butterfly at the newly built South Australia Leisure and Aquatic Centre.

His gold medals were awarded in the disability class, but his times were so impressive he would have received one gold, two silver and three bronze if awarded in the mainstream competition.

Following his impressive form, Clinton's mother, Sue, said there was no telling how much longer his swimming career would last.

"There is no comparison for Clinton. I don't know anyone else with Down syndrome training or performing as well as he is now," she said. "He will probably swim the rest of his life, but competitively I've got no idea."

The pool length at the Masters was particularly challenging for Clinton. He was used to training in 25m short-course pools, and Noosa Aquatic Centre coaches Ian Robinson and Ross Sanderson had less than two weeks to prepare him for the 50-metre length.

"It's totally different," Sue Stanley said.

"We're really pleased he did so well, considering the big change."

Sue said her son's performances in the pool last week meant all the more as it was also Australian Down Syndrome Awareness Week.

"There are a lot of people with Down syndrome who are high achievers. It's important to highlight it," she said.

Clinton is taking a well-deserved eight-week break.

He is planning to compete in the World Down Syndrome Swimming Championships in Italy next year.

When he is not swimming, Clinton is never far from the water, as he works part-time as a pool attendant at the Noosa Aquatic Centre and puts in time as a lifeguard at Sunshine Beach.

At the inaugural Down Syndrome Swimming Games in Noosa last month, he broke world records for the 100m, 400m and 800m freestyle and the 200m butterfly.

His medal tally was two gold, two silver and one bronze.

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