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Swimmer Matthew Cowdrey, 23, became the best Aussie Paralympian ever as he won his 10th gold medal in the 4x100m freestyle today.

The South Australian, now with 19 medals including seven silver and two bronze, passed the runner Tim Sullivan who has ten gold medals but no other medals.

Cowdrey told Australian Times: “Out of all the ten golds, this must be the sweetest.

“I am blown away to be honest.

“It has been an honour to be a part of the sport for past ten years and it is slowly starting to sink in what I have been able to do.”

Australia's former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd cheered on Cowdrey, tweeting: "Well done to the @AUSParalympic 4x100m relay on winning gold & to @Matt_Cowdrey who won his 10th gold medal - superb effort. KRudd."

Australian swimmer Kingsley Bugarin has also got 19 medals but they are of less value than Cowdrey’s.

The Law and Media student at University of Adelaide said he refuses to think about his success yet as he has four events to go.

Today he tweeted a thank to his teammates and the people around him: “I'm amazed & humbled @ the opportunities I have been given by my parents & many others. Gold is great, team Gold is even better!”

Cowdrey, born with a congenital amputation to his lower left arm, started swimming as a five-year-old. Determined to beat his able-bodied competitors, he quickly became one of the best disabled swimmers in the world and at the age of 13 he had broken his first world record.

The Adelaide son, with his two silver and two golds so far in London 2012, is only second best Australian after fellow swimmer Jacqueline Freney, 20, who has won three gold medals – the latest one today in the SM7 200m medley in which she also set a new world record.

Image via Getty.


London 2012: Aussie Paralympic swimmer Matthew Cowdrey becomes Australia's most successful Paralympian ever
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