Max Litchfield has had a year to forget so far but with a European Swimming Championship final to look forward to, his tide may finally be turning.
The Sheffield swimmer was forced to withdraw from this year’s Commonwealth Games due to a shoulder injury, a bitter blow in his bid for Olympic selection at Tokyo 2020.
But a chance to return to the podium is just one swim away for the 23-year-old, reaching Monday’s 200m individual medley final having qualified second from his semi-final in Glasgow.
More pertinently, his time of 1:57.62 was a marked improvement on his heat but Litchfield is keen not to think too far ahead just yet.
“I’ve had a tough year with injury so I can take a lot out of that performance, so to come here with two solid swims on my first day is really positive and now I’m looking forward to battling for some medals,” he said.
“It’s long hours and doing everything you need to do to get back from injury, it’s tough but I’ve done what I need to do and it’s paid off.
“It would be massive for me to win but it’s about not thinking about that, I’ll just go out there and do what I need to do and hopefully I’ll come through.”
Also in action in the pool was Sheffield’s Eleanor Faulkner, qualifying for Monday’s 200m freestyle final as a fastest loser.
Stopping the clock in a time of 1:58.71 was enough despite the 25-year-old – who narrowly missed out on a medal as part of Britain’s 4x100m freestyle team – finishing fourth in her semi-final.
She’ll be back in the pool on Monday evening but that won’t be all for her European Championships, also set to compete in the 400m freestyle on Thursday.
Sheffield interest continued onto the road where Lizzy Banks competed in the cycling road race, a gruelling three-and-a-half hour circuit across the streets of Glasgow.
The 27-year-old put in a good showing as part of the eight-strong British team but was unable to trouble the head of the race, finishing ten minutes down on winner Marta Bastianelli.
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