Wayne Ryding competes in the Paralympics this week and is going for gold in the swimming.

The Worthing freestyler takes part in his fourth Games, which started with a lavish opening ceremony in Sydney yesterday.

Like superstar rower Steve Redgrave, Ryding won his first gold 16 years ago competing for Australia, and he's determined to go on racing at the top and compete in his fifth Olympics in four years time. He said: "It's in your blood, you want to go as far as you can, It's an addiction."

The 41-year-old was born in England but emigrated with his family and competed for Australia in 1984 and 1988 before returning home to finish fifth for Great Britain in the 100m breaststroke in Atlanta four years ago.

He said: "I want to go for a fifth and I feel I can make it. I desperately want to."

Ryding was living in Melbourne when he won gold in the 100m free and also took a silver in the 400m. He went onto win bronze in the 400m in Seoul.

This time he goes in the 50m free, 100m breaststroke and 50mx4 individual medley.

His main focus is the short sprint next Tuesday, the event in which he is European 50m freestyle champion.

He said: "I feel my chances are pretty good. I'm in the best shape of my life thanks to training all the time.

"All my rivals, apart from one American, are European, so I've proved myself against them. It has given me an edge.

"I don't want to say I will get the gold medal, but I'm confident I can beat them all."

He feels his previous Paralympic experience will be an extra boost. "I am sure that will benefit me. I will try and replicate and improve on what I've done. I must control my nerves and the excitability levels."

Ryding is delighted that the profile of the Paralympics has grown. Sports-mad Australians have snapped up tickets and there is television coverage every day.

He has enjoyed a quality of life he could never have dreamed about after breaking his back when a shed fell on top of him as a youngster.

But it has been a hard road. He said: "The mental and physically effort required has been huge. You have to show your mettle every day of your life."

Fellow swimmer Peter Snashall, from Pevensey, also goes for glory in the 50m freestyle.

The 21-year-old hopes to walk tall in Sydney, thanks to the coaching help he has received at Eastbourne.

He suffers from learning difficulties after sustaining severe head and brain injuries when he was hit by a car when he was three.

Snashall got £1m compensation two years ago but a Paralympic gold will mean just as much.

He won a gold medal in the 4x100m freestyle at the World Championships in Germany last year and was first in the same event at the Europeans.

Meanwhile, Kimberly Dell, from Eastbourne, bids to become the first Briton to win a Paralympic wheelchair tennis medal. The 19-year-old, who prepared at Cooden Beach, is seeded to win a bronze medal in the women's doubles with partner Janet McMorran.

The British No.2 is also seeded to reach the quarter-finals of the singles.

The former Hampden Park pupil, who made the world top ten in singles and doubles this year, said: "I will give the singles my best shot, but I am very positive about the doubles. We've worked hard on our routines from our covering of the court to serving and returning. I feel the British team will be the best prepared of all the countries in the competition."

Yachtsman Martin Cheshire, 49, from Eastbourne, is in Sydney as reserve crew to Britain's Solar class boat.

Sailing was Britain's most successful sport at the Olympics. Cheshire, sixth in the World Championships two years ago and fifth in the 1997 Europeans, hopes to play his part to help GB rule the waves in Sydney again.