Golden day for special Olympian

BENDIGO swimmer Tara Smith has won gold at the Asia Pacific Special Olympics games. 

Tara took out the 100-metre freestyle and added a silver in the freestyle relay and a bronze in the 100-metre breaststroke on Friday.

It was the first time a Bendigo swimmer has won gold at the Asia Pacific games.

Bendigo Special Olympics coach Michele Berryman-Cooper said it was testament to Tara's hard work, and was extra special for her to have her parents poolside.

"Her Mum and Dad were in tears watching," she said.

"They're just very proud and excited. This has been her dream for so long."

Tara, 24, has been swimming since she was two-years-old.

Bendigo tenpin bowler Francis Bush won gold in the bowling pairs and team-mate Sally Brockley-Moon won a bronze in her pairs event. 

More than 2000 athletes from 32 countries have taken part in the games in Newcastle this week.

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