Going into the recent World Championship Trials in Sheffield, I was relatively nervous given everything that has happened since the Olympics in Beijing. Whilst I had maintained a full training programme I hadn’t been able to train to the standard I usually do throughout the winter months.
The 400m was on the first day. I knew that Joanne Jackson, the Olympic Bronze medallist in that event from Beijing, had been training very well in the months leading up to the event. So my aim for the final was to get involved in the race with Jo.
The race was amazing. Both Jo and myself finished inside the previous World Record, with Jo beating me by 0.23 seconds. I can honestly say I was pleased for Jo, of course I don’t like to be beaten, but she is a great swimmer and friend, and on the day she won. Personally, I was really happy to swim faster than I did at the Olympics and set a 2 second best time.
Following the 400 I pulled out of the 200m Freestyle semi final to give myself the best chance to swim a great race in the 800m event, following the 400m race I was more confident I could put in a good performance than I had been a week or so before the event.
As always I enjoyed my number 1 event, the 800m. I won the final in a time of 8.18.86, which was a lot quicker than I thought I would go. Whilst it was 4 seconds slower than in Beijing it would still have won me the Gold there.
I have therefore qualified for the 800m Freestyle at this year’s World Championships in Rome in late July. Providing no-one other than Joanne goes faster than my time of 4.00.89 in the 400m Free I’ll also be competing in that event in Rome and if selected I would love to be part of the women’s 4×200 Free squad.
Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed all the events I attended between September and February on the back of Beijing, they are all behind me now and I’m looking forward to solely focusing on my training leading into the World Championships.