Swimming: Faulkner ready to make a splash

City of Sheffield swimmer Ellie Faulkner
City of Sheffield swimmer Ellie Faulkner
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CITY of Sheffield swimmer Ellie Faulkner is relishing the prospect of competing in the 2013 British Gas International Meet and confessed: “I can’t wait to get racing again.”

After a gruelling week-long training camp in Tenerife last month, Faulkner has set her sights on posting some “good times” in the four-day competition, which begins today.

The precociously talented youngster, who trains at Ponds Forge, is competing in the women’s 800 metres freestyle today and faces strong competition from Keri-Anne Payne and Hannah Miley. Faulkner is also set to take part in the women’s 1500m and 400m freestyle events on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Heats will take place in the morning sessions and finals will be staged in the evenings.

She told The Star: “I have been quite busy over the last couple of months. It was nice to get away and go on the training camp to Tenerife with the whole of the City of Sheffield squad. It was hard and very intensive training which is what I needed.

“I can’t wait to get racing again. I just want to post some good times in Leeds and hopefully I will be up there with the other girls.”

To keep herself ticking over, Faulkner competed in the Flanders Cup in Belgium two months ago. The 20-year-old, who is studying Sports Development Coaching at Sheffield Hallam University, has also recently taken part in the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) tournament where she clocked 8.38.00 in the women’s 800m freestyle, equalling the time she achieved in the 2012 London Olympics heats.

“It was hard for the first few weeks after the Olympics ended trying to move on,” Faulkner admitted. “But I have got over it now.

“It was great to experience it and I did the best I could but now everything is geared to doing well in Rio in three years time.”

The British Gas International Swimming Meet, held at the John Charles Centre for Sport in Leeds, has attracted a stellar line-up, featuring Olympic medallist Michael Jamieson in the 100m Breaststroke and Liam Tancock in the 100m Backstroke.

* Ellie Faulkner is a member of the British Gas GBR Swimming Team. This spring British Gas is launching SwimBritain, a campaign to create a healthier nation and get more people swimming regularly by 2015. Visit www.facebook.com/BGSwimming