Autistic boy, 9, disqualified from swimming competition ‘for going too fast’

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Rory Logan

The mother of an autistic boy claims her son was disqualified from a swimming final because he “swam too fast”.

Rory Logan, nine, was competing in the Special Olympics Regional finals in Bangor, north Wales, and won the 50 metres race in 53.15 seconds – a personal best and smashing his heat time of one minute and three seconds.

However, when it came to the medal ceremony, Rory, from County Antrim, was simply given a ribbon for participating instead of the gold he was expecting.

Now mum Briony claims that officials told her that he didn’t get a medal because he was too fast for the race.

Personal best: Rory came first in the 50m race (Belfast Live)

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She told Belfast Live: “Rory came to me and said, ‘Mum I didn’t do anything wrong, I won fair and square, what did I do?’. I was absolutely gutted for him.

“I went to speak to the officials and basically they said he had been disqualified because he swam too fast. No one can get over this decision.

“Apparently you can’t be more than 15% faster than the time you swam in your heats just in case you are trying to swim slower in your heat to be placed in a lower division’s final.

“Rory swam 15.8% faster than his heat but someone please explain to me how a nine-year-old child would think of doing that or being that calculating.”

Heartbroken: Rory was left confused why he didn’t get a gold medal for winning the race (Belfast Live)

Despite wanting to withdraw her son for the rest of the competition Rory carried on and managed to win gold for the relay and 25 metres race.

Seeing her son so upset, Briony considered withdrawing him from the remainder of the finals. However, Rory competed in two further finals, winning gold for both the relay and 25 meters.

Briony added: “Thankfully winning the other medals softened the blow for him but he’s still upset and feels he has done something wrong even though he swam well.”

Rory’s personal best time will no longer count in his bid for a place at the All Ireland’s.

Top pic: Belfast Live