Full of confidence following last year’s medal-winning exploits in Glasgow, Sheffield swimmer Rebecca Turner is desperate to return to the podium again at next month’s World Championships in Russia.
Turner capped off a Commonwealth Games debut to remember 12 months ago by winning silver and bronze as part of the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relay teams.
They were her first senior international medals and added to the European and World Junior podium finishes n 2007 and 2008.
And Turner, who swam at the London 2012 Olympics, put in a solid showing at the British Championships in April, including finishing fourth in both the 100m and 200m freestyle races.
But it is in the team events where her main focus lies currently, and with the opportunity to bid for medals in both the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relays when competition gets underway in Kazan on August 2, the 22-year-old is full of confidence.
“I’m feeling very positive at the moment. We’ve got a really good chance in the relays, especially in the 4x200m,” she said.
“I think we can make a big push for medals and even the win. It would be absolutely crazy if we could do that.
“For me, getting those medals at last year’s Commonwealth Games was great but this would be taking it up another level.
“It was great in Glasgow, the team did really well and it was a great experience having my family and friends there watching.
“After 2012 I had a bit of a dip but at trials this year I showed that I have moved forward and am back swimming well. I want to swim fast times and help get the team in contention.
“I’m always working on the individual side of things but I love being part of the relay team and I’m proud to play my part.
“It’s great being part of a relay team. You are cheering each other on and the atmosphere is always great.”
Great Britain will go into the competition buoyed by performances last year, which included them topping the medal table at the European Championships in Berlin. And Turner believes whatever the outcome in Russia, they are well on track for Olympic success at Rio 2016.
“The results show that British Swimming has been improving and moving things forward and that we are now right up there,” she added.
“In London I believe we did well, we had a number of finalists and although we just missed out on medals. there were still positives to take from it, and the squad has been building from there.
“We had a great Europeans last year and it’s all heading in the right direction for Rio. I’m looking forward to Rio, I can’t wait for it.”
n Rebecca Turner is one of 1,300 athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-supported World Class Programme. Find out more www.uksport.gov.uk* City of Sheffield swimmer Elliot Clogg admitted he was lost for words after getting the nod to represent Team GB at the European Youth Olympic Festival, starting on Sunday.
The 15-year-old will be one of 44 young athletes representing Great Britain the Georgian capital of Tbilisi between July 26 and August 1.
It comes after a stellar British Championships for Clogg in April which saw him come away with three silvers in the junior 100m and 200m backstroke and 50m freestyle races.
And with the 2015 Festival giving him the chance to pit his wits against some of Europe’s up-and-oming stars, Clogg admits he can’t wait to get stuck in and leave his mark.
“It’s an honour to swim for Great Britain, especially at such a young age – it’s hard to put into words,” he said.
“I’ve improved my swimming dramatically this year. I moved to the City of Sheffield a year and a half ago from Nova Centurion.
“I feel like I’ve really come on in the pool and ’m happy with the times I’m swimming.
“I’d love to get a medal in Georgia, but we’ll see. I want to make as many finals as possible. I think I’m doing all the sprint events.”
Swimming will be one of nine sports at the biennial competitio.
And with the likes of double Olympic swimming champion Rebecca Adlington having also participated at the event, Clogg knows the experience can stand him in good stead for the years ahead.
“I’d love to swim at the Olympics one day, I have to try and improve each year,” he added.
“I am not normally nervous but I don’t know how I will be feeling before I race this time around as it will be such a big competition. Hopefully I can do my family proud.”
To follow the team out at Tbilisi 2015 visit www.TeamGB.com or via Twitter using @TeamGB