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Paralympics: US serviceman blinded in Afghanistan wins gold

Published on Sep 1, 2012 9:59 AM
United States swimmer Bradley Snyder poses with his gold medal after winning the men's 100m freestyle - S11 final swimming event at the London 2012 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Park's Aquatics Centre in east London, on Aug 31, 2012. -- PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - United States (US) swimmer Bradley Snyder on Friday won gold in the men's S11 100m freestyle at the London Paralympics - a year after losing his sight when an improvised explosive device exploded in his face in Afghanistan.

The 28-year-old former US Navy lieutenant won the race in 57.43secs, with clear water between him and second-placed finisher Yang Bozun of China and Hendri Herbst Hendri of South Africa in third.

Snyder was on a tour of duty as a bomb disposal specialist when on Sept 7 last year a home-made bomb detonated and blinded him.

The bloody legacy of nearly a decade of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years have led to a number of wounded former service personnel taking up para-sport.

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