CRAIG Benson’s mother has spoken of her pride after watching the swimming sensation make his Olympic debut in London.
The Livingston teenager was selected for Team GB after pulling off the performance of his life to clinch silver in the 100-metre breaststroke at the British Gas British Championships in London in March.
And on Saturday at the Aquatics Centre, Craig smashed his own Scottish record in the heats of the 100m breaststroke with a time of 1:00.04.
This saw him advance in fourth place to the semi-finals but after touching home in sixth place, 0.09 slower than his heat, the 18-year-old missed out on a place in the final.
As the Courier went to press the former James Young High pupil was still waiting to hear if he was to be selected to take part in Friday’s Men’s 4x100m medley relay team.
But his mother Janice, who travelled to London to watch him compete, spoke of her pride at her son’s achievements.
She said: “We are very proud of him and he has done exceptionally well as he is the youngest member of the Team GB swimming squad.
“My husband Nigel and I and Craig’s older brother Andrew and some cousins went down to support him.
“It was all very exciting and I think we were more nervous than he was but he did so well. He really wanted to get to the semi-final so he could walk out and hear his name announced and the cheers from the home crowd.
“He absolutely loved the experience. Of course he would have loved to have made the final and he is a wee bit disappointed because he doesn’t like to lose but he has done so well — there are not many at his age that go all the way to the final.
“He spoke to Cameron Van der Burgh, who won the gold medal, and he told Craig that he never made it to the final at his first Olympics either and gave him lots of encouragement.
“He has only just turned 18 and the average age for the breast stroke is 26 so he has another few Olympics left in him.
“However, he has taken being involved in the Olympics in his stride.”