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City of Sheffield’s Matthew Johnson has got Essex boy Roberto Pavoni in his sights at the British Gas Swimming Championships in Sheffield – and is adamant he won’t be left in his slipstream again.

While Pavoni has been forging a senior career for himself, Johnson has been making a splash as a junior – starting by winning four gold medals and two silvers at the 2011 European Youth Olympic Festival in Turkey.

Last year the 18-year-old further underlined his potential with 400m medley and 200m butterfly gold as well as 400m freestyle silver at the European Junior Championships in Belgium. Johnson has also demonstrated his talents to his senior rivals as he claimed 400m medley bronze at the British Gas Championships in March 2012 – a race won by Pavoni, who earned an Olympic swim in London. And with places at the Barcelona World Championships up for grabs, Johnson is determined to get involved.

“The main aim for me this year is to reach the World Championships and to do that I have to get the qualifying time at the British Championships and finish in the top two,” said Johnson.

n British Gas is launching SwimBritain, a programme to create a healthier nation and get 500,000 people swimming more regularly by 2015. Visit www.swimbritain.co.uk/challenge