Swimmer aims for medal glory

MICHAEL Auprince won't feel satisfied until he returns from the Paralympics with a gold medal.

Auprince, 19, of Peakhurst, has long dreamed of qualifying in swimming for the Paralympics.

He told the Leader in 2009 that he would compete at the Games in London, and while he has accomplished that feat, he wants more.

"I want to win," Auprince said. "I expect to at least make the top five."

Born without muscles in his left leg, he was only 10 when he decided to have his leg amputated at the knee.

He will compete in at least three events — the 50 metre backstroke, 100 metre backstroke and the 200 metre individual medley.

Auprince is also a chance to line up in relays.

"I don't plan on celebrating until it's over," he said.

"Just because I've made the team doesn't mean I can slacken off now."

But with nine swimming sessions plus four gym sessions each week, the Georges River College Oatley Senior Campus graduate shows no signs of doing that.

"I have to destroy myself every session," Auprince said.

A bout of food poisoning threatened to derail his preparations when he was in Thailand as part of an intense 16-day training camp.

"My built up fitness was taken away a bit," he said.

"It took me about two weeks to recover, but I'm fully recovered now."

The 100 metre backstroke is what Auprince considers as his best chance at gold.

"There are four or five guys who could win," the budding English teacher said.

Auprince will travel to Cardiff, Wales, on August 10 to ramp up preparations before the Games start on August 29.

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