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Byline: Donna Bowater

A MIDLANDS teenager is hoping to follow in the wake of his champion swimmer dad after qualifying for the 2011 World Championship trials in the same backstroke event.

Dan Ruckwood was just a toddler when his dad Adam won a gold medal for the 200m men's backstroke in the 1994 Commonwealth Games, pictured right.

He later went on to win silver and bronze medals at the European Championships as well as winning silver in the 4x100m medley relay at the 2002 Commonwealth in Manchester. But now his 18-year-old son could be in line for international glory of his own next month ahead of the Championships in Shanghai in July.

Adam, who coached 18-yearold Dan at City of Birmingham Swimming Club, said he was looking forward to playing the role of "proud dad".

Ruckwood senior, who now works at City of Coventry Swimming Club, said: "I'm delighted for him. Dan swam with Birmingham from when he was ten or 11 and I had coached him for at least five of those years but now I can be proud dad.

"There's not many people who get to coach their own kids and it is very difficult being critical but it's nice now I've changed from being a coach to just being dad.

"I'm chuffed to bits that he is going to the trials. He could be very very good, his technique is sound and he is still relatively young.

"As he was growing up, there was always the comparisons with me but we've always laughed it off and I'm glad I'm out of it a bit more.

"Dan works really hard and like any parent, I just want him to enjoy it."

The Bromsgrove School pupil will be in the running to join Team GB for the 2011 competition and has his sights set on the 2012 Olympics and beyond.

He has already earned two England Schools caps and has trained with the Olympic Development Team.

After completing his A levels in PE, geography and biology, he plans to take a gap year to concentrate on his swimming.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Feb 23, 2011
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