Since 1993, Sascha Kindred OBE has been one of Great Britain's most successful Paralympic athletes, dominating in Breaststroke and Individual Medley (IM) events within his classification at major championships all over the world.

Sascha receives his OBE

Sascha receives his OBE at Buckingham Palace.

Overall, Sascha has won a total of seven Paralympic, eleven World and fourteen European Championship Gold medals (62 medals in total including silver and bronze) and has represented Great Britain in six Paralympic Games (Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016) thus far. In addition, he currently holds a number of British, European, Paralympic and World records.

At the age of 15, Sascha represented Great Britain in his first major international competition, the World Championships in Malta 1994, winning a bronze medal in the 100m SB7 Breaststroke. In 1996 Sascha made his Paralympic debut in Atlanta where he won a silver medal in the 100M SB7 Breaststroke.

Sascha continued to improve winning no fewer than four gold, four silver and five bronze medals and breaking two World Records in the 1997 and 1999 European and 1998 World Championships. However, it was Sascha's performances in the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games which really put him on the map as he won two gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal and broke a Paralympic Record in the 100M SB7 Breaststroke and World Record in the 200M SM6 Individual Medley.

Sascha went from strength to strength and in 2002 he was selected for the World Championships in Argentina at which he won three gold medals and one silver medal, breaking two Worlds and a European Record along the way. To top off the championship, Sascha was voted World Male Swimmer of the year by his peers for his outstanding performance in the 200M Individual Medley.

In 2004 Sascha travelled to the Paralympic Games in Athens to defend the two titles he had won four years earlier. Sascha duly delivered as he went on to win the 100M SB7 Breaststroke and 200m SM6 Individual Medley events, as well as an additional bronze in the 4 x 50M 20 points freestyle relay.

With three Paralympic Games now under his belt, Sascha showed no let up in his training and in 2006, travelled to the World Championships in Durban, South Africa at which he won gold medals in the 100M SB7 Breaststroke and 200M SM6 Individual Medley and a bronze in the 50M S6 Butterfly.

In 2008 and at the age of 30, Sascha continued to break personal bests and set new records in his two favourite events, the 100M SB7 Breaststroke and the 200M SM6 Individual Medley as well as set a European record in the 50M S6 Butterfly. But it was the Paralympic Games in Beijing that would yet be the pinnacle of his career. In September, Sascha travelled to Beijing in search of a double hat-rick of medals after his successes in Sydney and Athens. With competition stronger than ever, Sascha again raised the bar to new heights, winning the 100M SB7 Breaststroke and the 200M SM6 Individual Medley in new World Record times, cementing his place as one of Britain's finest Paralympic swimmers of all time. Sascha then added a bronze to his medal tally in the 50M S6 Butterfly to add the icing to the cake.

In 2009, the European Championships were added to the racing calendar for the first time in eight years and with the chance to defend his titles from Sweden in 2001, Sascha duly obliged regaining his 100M S7 Breaststroke and 200M SM6 Individual Medley titles. Sascha then increased his medal tally by winning Gold in the 50m S6 Butterfly in a new European Record time. He also picked up silver in the 4x50m Medley Relay.

Later that year, Sascha swam in the inaugural IPC World Short Course Championships in a shorter 25m length pool. Sascha again dominated in his events winning Gold in the 100m SM6 Individual Medley, 200M SM6 Individual Medley and 50M S6 Butterfly and Silver in the 100M SB7 Breaststroke.

In 2010, Sascha took a step back from the 100M Breaststroke event to concentrate more on the 200M Individual Medley and 50M Butterfly. The move paid off as he broke his own World Record in the 200M IM again whilst also moving up in the world for 50M Butterfly. He finished off the year by taking World Champion Gold and Silver in the events respectively.

In 2012 it was time for Sascha and his fellow GB athletes to swim at a home games in London, something most athletes can only dream of. Though Sascha was the favourite in his main events, he come away with a sole silver medal in the 200M Individual Medley, which showed the ever improving strength and depth of disability swimming. Though Sascha swam a personal best and went under his own World Record, one of his rivals swam faster, so he couldn't be dissapointed having swam his fastest yet at the age of 34.

In 2016, Sascha was fully focused on competing in what would more than likely be his last Paralympic Games at Rio during the summer. Not everything went his way though as he narrowly missed the qualification time needed for Rio by 0.20 seconds at the trials earlier in the year.

Having thought he may now go to Rio, Sascha was delighted to hear that he had been selected for Rio with the selectors taking in to account a number of positive factors in relation to Sascha's swims during the year.

When Rio came, Sascha started the games poorly in his less favoured events. Then the worst thing possibly happened in the heats of the 200M Individual Medley, his main medal hope. Sascha was disqualified.

After an appeal, Sascha's disqualification was overturned meaning Sascha would be allowed to swim in the final. This gave him just the boost he needed as he went on to win yet another Paralympic Gold medal in a World Record time! He'd won it again and signed off in style.

Sascha has received many accolades for his sporting achievements, not least an OBE in the 2009 New Year’s Honours List. In addition, Sascha has twice been named Senior Sportsman of the Year by Herefordshire Council, has received an award for Outstanding Achievement by British Swimming and was voted Disabled Sportsperson of the Year 2007 in the BBC Midlands Sports Awards. In 2016, Sascha was given the Freeman of the County of Herefordshire, the first individual to be given such an honour and the highest honour possible. Shortly after, he then received the Freeman of the Borough of Oldham.

In total, Sascha has won over 350 medals and broken 20 British Records, 2 European Records and numerous World Records. He is currently still the World Record holder in the 200M SB7 Breaststroke and 200M and 400M SM6 Individual Medley events. He is also the European Record holder in the 50M and 100M S6 Butterfly.

© Sascha Kindred