Teenage Bolton Metro Swimming Squad member, Mark Tompsett, broke the British record on his way to becoming European champion - and is now hoping for as place in this year’s Paris Paralympics.

The 17-year-old para swimmer competes in the S14 classification - for swimmers with an intellectual impairment - due to his autism.

And he has shone this year by also achieving the nomination time to be in with a chance of Team GB selection for this year’s Paralympic Games in Paris.

Tompsett is from Chorley but has been a member of BMSS since the age of nine.

He has already achieved able-bodied swimming successes at county, North West regional and national levels with the club, and in January he was internationally classified as a S14 intellectually impaired swimmer.

This class includes swimmers with an IQ of 75 or below, and who have difficulties with memory, sequencing, pattern recognition, or reaction time. These difficulties can affect their performance in the sport.

Tompsett’s inaugural appearance for Para Team GB came in Aberdeen, in February, at the Para World series event where he secured a bronze medal in the mixed classification in 100m backstroke, bronze in the 100m Free Junior, gold in the junior 100m backstroke and gold as the highest point scorer for GB in the 100m backstroke.

The youngster swims all strokes but excels in backstroke, and he currently holds S14 British records in 100m and 200m backstroke long course and 200m backstroke short course.

Tompsett’s success continued when Aquatics GB held Olympic swimming trials over a week at the Olympic pool in London last month, where he secured a nomination time in the S14 100m backstroke for the Paralympics.

Proud mum Nicola said: “Mark started swimming originally as a ‘life skill’ at Chorley leisure centre to maximise his fun and safety from the age of two and a half.

“He progressed from swimming lessons to first competing for Chorley Marlins at age of eight.

“Mark is autistic and has sensory processing issues but loves the feel of water and the pressure it produces. You could say he was destined to be a swimmer by design.

“We are unbelievably proud of Mark, his dedication to swimming is commendable - not many 17-year-olds see two four o’clocks a day three or four times a week, never mind their parents.

“His achievements to date are awe-inspiring.”

After the London trials, Tompsett was selected to represent Aquatics GB Para team at the 2024 Para Swimming European Open Championships in Madeira, where he won gold on his first international outing in the Men’s S14 100m Backstroke.

In a very tight race, Tompsett finished in a time of 59.53secs to take the gold ahead of British team-mate, William Ellard.

“It’s amazing really,” said Tompsett after his victory.

“This being my first Europeans - it’s a great honour to get this.

“I’ve put a lot of hard work in but I’m really glad and it was a good race.”