Silver for transplantcontender

Chloe FraserBusselton Dunsborough Times

Busselton’s Josh Yates has returned from the World Transplant Games in Malaga, Spain, with a silver medal.

The 28-year-old was diagnosed with adrenoleukodystrophy as a toddler.

The rare metabolic disorder, which affects about one in 20,000 people, left him blind and led to the need for a lifesaving bone marrow transplant in his teenage years.

After his transplant in 2004, Yates said he became healthier and had more energy to make sport a priority, competing in the world games on the Gold Coast in 2009 and in Sweden in 2011.

Representing Australia in his third world games, Yates took out silver in the 5km race walk and competed in a ball throw event and the 1500m track run.

Before heading to Spain, he attended the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra for a training camp, where he met his guide runner and teammates.

Yates said it was his first time competing at world level in six years and catching up with old friends was a highlight.

“It’s a really great atmosphere,” he said. “The games can be serious if you want them to, but it’s more about just being together.”

Yates thanked his bone marrow donor and said the importance of donors couldn’t be understated.

He hopes to compete in his fourth World Transplant Games in Newcastle in 2019, and to participate in local running events.

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