What a week! I was pretty confident going into the British Gas Championships, but to qualify for the Commonwealth Games, the European Championships and take home three gold medals was more than I expected.
The three races I won were all so different – but so satisfying given the amount of work I have been doing in training.
As I said at the time, the 200m Freestyle win was slightly unexpected. It seemed a bit surreal when I touched the wall first and won the gold. The Relay is one of the events I had my heart set on, so that win really set me up for the rest of the week.
With the 800m, my goal was just to clock a good time and then the result would look after itself. One slight distraction was the absence of one of my best mates in swimming, Jo Jackson. I just felt so sorry for her having to pull out due to her asthma – its so frustrating for any type of athlete having to miss out due to illness and I really felt for her. That said, I was very focused for the final and I definitely needed to be. The race itself was probably the toughest of the week as I was out in front by the first 200 metres, but I was glad to be able to finish the job.
By the time my 400m Freestyle final came round on Friday, all the girls in the final were pretty tired as it had been a long week, but that went out the window when we got to the pool deck as the atmosphere was simply electric. It was a totally packed house and the noise that was coming from the crowd was amazing! I normally look to really go for it in my last 50m of the race, but I had a decent lead so I didn’t need to push too hard. It’s good to know I had a little in reserve.
All in all I was pleased with the wins and it’s a confidence boost to know that the times I did post stack up well in comparison to the Aussies who also had their trials for the Commonwealth Games recently. To know that I’m up there in terms of race pace with a little left in the tank bodes well for the rest of the year.
Finally, I’d just like to thank those of you that came to support all the swimmers in Sheffield last week – you created a brilliant atmosphere and it certainly does make the occasion that extra bit special.