AN Olympic swimmer from Bicester is out of the Tokyo 2020 Games but his family and friends remain proud of his achievements.

Kieran Bird swam in the 800m freestyle on Tuesday but his time of 7minutes and 57seconds put him in sixth place in his heat.

It was his second best time, but unfortunately not enough to get him to the final.

Despite the 21-year-old's loss, his mother Mandy Bird is 'over the moon' that he made it to the Olympics.

She said: "He didn't get the time he wanted and the result he wanted. We spoke to him and ultimately we're very very proud.

"We're absolutely over the moon that he actually got to the Olympics regardless of his result."

Bicester Advertiser: Kieran Bird. Pic: Team BathKieran Bird. Pic: Team Bath

Mr Bird, who grew up in Bicester and attended The Cooper School, also competed in the 400m freestyle on Saturday, but did not qualify.

However his mother hopes he will take the experience onboard and that it will help him to prepare for his next big international competitions including the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next year.

She said: "Although he's not got the time he was after in the Olympics, he's learnt a lot from it.

"It's his first competition at this level, he's gained a lot of knowledge and experience and I think hopefully we can look forward to next year now that he's gained experience competing with the big boys."

The Olympian first got a taste of swimming when he was just six-weeks-old at a mother and baby swim class with Mrs Bird at Bicester Leisure Centre.

He swam properly on his own just before he was three-years-old.

Bicester Advertiser: Pic: Craig OliverPic: Craig Oliver

Mr Bird continued doing swimming lessons and competed in a gala at his local Cub group which is where his talent was spotted by the chairman of Bicester Blue Fins Swimming Club.

He joined the club and over the years worked his way up to compete in county, regional and national competitions.

One of Mr Bird's former coaches at Blue Fins, Craig Oliver, helped him to hone his freestyle stroke. He is also proud of the swimmer's achievements and hopes people feel inspired.

He said: "He is fully committed and dedicated to swimming and he's very much a modest team player.

Bicester Advertiser: Pic: Craig OliverPic: Craig Oliver

"As long as it's something that you enjoy, put everything into it because you never know.

"It's not like Kieran is a 6 foot 5 monster or anything like that, he just works hard, enjoys what he does, keeps at it and doesn't stop. That's all you need."

Mrs Bird thanks everyone who has helped her son over the years including Bicester Blue Fins, school teachers and Wycombe Swimming Club.

Another Bicester Olympian rower Fiona Gammond came last in the women's eight repechage thiis morning and does not progress to the final.

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