Josef Craig wins BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year

Josef Craig crowned BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year

Teenage swimmer Josef Craig is the BBC's Young Sports Personality of the Year after becoming Britain's youngest gold medallist at the 2012 Paralympics.

The 15-year-old won the S7 400m freestyle final in a new world record, knocking nearly two seconds off the previous best.

"A big thanks to everyone who helped me get the gold," he said.

"I'd like to thank my family, friends and performance director John Atkinson at British Swimming."

Craig, who has mild cerebral palsy, was diagnosed with Graves' disease in 2011 which causes rapid weight loss.

He had his thyroid removed but battled back to secure a spot at the Games.

Receiving the award sees him follow in illustrious footsteps, with previous winners including footballer Wayne Rooney, tennis star Andy Murray and diver Tom Daley.

A panel had to choose contenders who were aged 16 or under on 1 January 2012.

Craig made the final shortlist of three along with fellow Paralympic swimmer Jessica-Jane Applegate and Olympic gymnast Rebecca Tunney.

The South Shields schoolboy made his international debut in London and broke the world record in qualifying before lowering that time again in the final.

His triumph followed two gold medals at the British International Disability Swimming Championships in Sheffield in April, where he won the men's youth multi-classification 100m and 50m freestyle.

Earlier in December, Craig was joint winner of the BBC North East Sports Personality award with Olympic rowing gold medallist Kat Copeland.