Former student Ben’s Paralympian glory

Great Britain's Ben Quilter
Great Britain's Ben Quilter

A FORMER local student is celebrating Paralympian glory after bagging a medal in the London Games.

Ex-East Durham College student Ben Quilter (right) has added a Paralympics bronze to his world title following a victory over Japan’s Takaaki Hirai in the men’s 60kg judo.

Ben, who is visually impaired, lost to defending champion Mouloud Noura in his opening contest, ending his hopes of gold.

He had defeated Mongolia’s Munkhbat Aajim before beating the USA’s Ron Hawthorne to set up the bronze-medal match.

The 30-year-old took up the sport when he was seven but was diagnosed with the rare genetic sight condition Stargardts Disease three years later.

He studied a BTEC diploma at the Peterlee-based college in 2002-03 but is now based in Kent.

Ben came to prominence in 2010 when he was Britain’s first visually impaired world champion for 12 years.

He had finished fifth in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing but won gold at the 2011 IBSA World Games in Turkey last year.

He had defeated Hirai in last year’s event to take the world title.