Denmead’s Andy McErlean wins gold at Invictus Games

UK wheelchair doubles tennis champions Andy McErlean, left, and Alex Krol celebrate after winning gold at the Invictus Games Picture: Chris Jackson/PA Wire
UK wheelchair doubles tennis champions Andy McErlean, left, and Alex Krol celebrate after winning gold at the Invictus Games Picture: Chris Jackson/PA Wire

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A FORMER soldier has clinched a gold medal on the final day of this year’s Invictus Games.

Andy McErlean, from Denmead, came out on top in the wheelchair doubles tennis yesterday.

Prince Harry presents gold medals Andy McErlean and Alex Krol Picture: Chris Jackson/PA Wire

Prince Harry presents gold medals Andy McErlean and Alex Krol Picture: Chris Jackson/PA Wire

Along with teammate Alex Krol, Andy went on to win the finals 6-1 against New Zealand.

The pair got off to a great start in the match going ahead 3-0. Opponents Glenn Barnes and David Sherriff managed to pull a game back but it was the only time they got on the scoreboard.

Andy was presented his gold medal by Prince Harry.

Just hours later, he went on to compete in the finals of the wheelchair basketball against the USA.

Unfortunately the UK team had to settle for silver after losing 48-16. Upon receiving their medal, the team were given a hug by Prince Harry.

This is the second time Andy has competed in the games after becoming paralysed from a car crash.

Then 19 and just a year after joining the army, he was seriously injured as the car turned over.

But his determination and passion for sport continued and he went on to win a gold medal in the 2014 Invictus Games in the basketball final against America.

The closing ceremony of the 2016 games was held last night in Florida.

Prince Harry said: ‘This is about bringing amazing people together, sharing experiences and literally watching lives change in front of you in this arena, outside in the pool, wherever it is.’

Other athletes competing included double-amputee Dave Henson, from Whiteley.

He was congratulated by Prince Harry after he ran the best T42 200-metre in the world this year to take the gold medal.

Southsea archer Angelito Barbierato won a double gold at the games. Afghanistan and Iraq veteran Angelito romped to victory with a spectacular performance in the open recurve and the team recurve event.

Powerlifter Micky Yule, a former instructor at the Horsea Island defence diving school, took Britain’s first gold medal of the games after dominating the men’s lightweight power lifting competition.