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Autistic boy disqualified from competition ‘for swimming too fast’

The mother of a boy with autism was left heartbroken after she claimed her son was disqualified from a swimming final because he “swam too fast”.

Rory Logan, 9, was competing in the Special Olympics regional finals in Bangor, north Wales, when he won the 50m race in 53.15 seconds.

The time was a personal best for the Irish boy who smashed his previous heat time of one minute and three seconds.


Rory was left confused why he didn’t get a gold medal for winning the race. Photo: Belfast Live/Yahoo US

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

His mother, Briony Logan, said officials told her that her son didn’t get a medal because he was too fast for the race.

“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,” Ms Logan told Belfast Live.

“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 per cent 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 per cent 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.”


Rory came first in the 50m race and was disqualified for being too fast. Photo: Belfast Live/Yahoo US

Rory Logan won the 50m race in the Special Olympics Regional finals in 53.15 seconds. Photo: Yahoo US

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

Seeing her son so upset, Ms Logan considered withdrawing him from the remainder of the finals.

But she didn’t and her son went on to compete in two further finals and won gold for the relay and 25m races.

“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,” Ms Logan said.

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

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