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Claire's still got gold desire after London 2012 heroics
10:16am Thursday 13th September 2012 in Sportsview
KIDDERMINSTER Paralympic heroine Claire Cashmore says her desire to win gold has only been strengthened by her medal winning exploits at the London Games.
The 24-year-old swimmer enjoyed her best tournament yet with two silvers and a bronze.
But Claire admits she desperately wanted to win gold and has not ruled out going for a fourth Games when Rio stages the tournament in 2016.
She added to the silver from the 100-metre breaststroke and bronze in the relay last Friday when the British quartet were pipped into second in the 100m medley relay by Australia.
Cashmore had produced a strong second leg in an event which equates to aquatic chess, where swimmers of different classifications square up to each other.
Britain saved the best to last as Louise Watkin produced a barnstorming final leg, only to finish three hundredths of a second behind the Aussies.
Cashmore was also fourth in the 200m individual medley and was only a fraction of a second outside of another medal.
Despite the setback, she has now won six Paralympic medals, with four bronze and two silvers.
“I would love to race in Rio but four years is a long time away and I think I will take it year-by-year,” said Claire.
“I still really want that gold, but we’ll see how it goes, 24 is quite old in swimming and there will be younger swimmers coming up to challenge me.
“At the moment, I need to take a long break and recover mentally and physically from what has been an amazing but draining experience.”
Cashmore attended Monday’s medal parade in London and was set to be in Leeds, where she studies her degree, today as the city celebrates local Paralympians’ success.
Claire and her fellow medal winners met Prime Minister David Cameron earlier in the week and will also be working with the Youth Sport Trust as she tries to fill the gap left by the Greatest Show on Earth.
“It was incredible, to have the whole country backing you is almost too amazing to put into words,” she added.
“People who I have never met were really getting behind me and the roar of the crowd was just the most amazing thing.
“Hopefully this is the Paralympics which really catapults the Games into the public consciousness.
“Everywhere I went, people were talking about the Games and I did not hear one single negative comment.
“I loved every minute of it, despite my disappointments, and I did not want it to stop.
“Luckily I have some things to do which keep me busy and keep my mind off the big hole left by the Games.”