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BGIM 2013: Gray balancing books and competition
FOR many students, writing a dissertation can be the toughest part of a degree, but throw an international swimming competition into the mix and things become a whole lot trickier.
That is the scenario facing Swindon’s Tilly Gray, who must finish her signature academic piece for her sports science degree at Loughborough College inside the next 12 days, somewhat hampered by a British Gas International Meet campaign that begins tomorrow in the 50m butterfly.
“My dissertation is due in soon and I’m away for five of those days,” said Gray, who will also compete in the 100m and 200m in Leeds.
“I really need to do more work but it’s fine, you can only focus on one thing at a time. I’m not getting stressed about it.
“I won’t be able to do any work at the competition so after this week I’m just going to go to the library and finish it off.
“I’ve done all the stats, I just need to sit down and complete it.”
The busy nature of Gray’s current situation seems to have done the 21-year-old’s swimming no harm. In the pool she is faster than ever, having scorched to two personal bests in the British Universities and Colleges (BUCS) Championships in Sheffield less than a fortnight ago.
The former Swindon Dolphin flyer dipped under a minute in clocking 59.38 seconds in the 100m and then set a PB of 2:10.99 in the 200m, taking gold in both events.
Naturally, two top placings with accompanying PBs have left the ASA Nationals 100m fly champion in buoyant mood ahead of this week’s meet at the John Charles Centre for Sport.
“That was a nice little confidence booster,” she said.
“I don’t want to count my chickens before they have hatched, but those times should put me up there and I’m hoping for a medal in the 200m fly.
“Whatever I get in the 100m is a bonus, but I’d love to come top three in both events. The 50m I’m not too fussed about, it’s just a bit of fun.
“I’m feeling quite confident but I’d like to go out there and chill out. I don’t think I’d ever be overly confident, but I just go with the flow now rather than getting stupidly nervous like I used to.
“I don’t know where this new me has come from, I’m just really believing in my training and I’ve got no reason to doubt myself now.
“I know I’ve done the work and I’m capable of it. It’s all in the mind.”
Swindon-born Hannah Miley will also be in action this week and the world silver medallist is challenging herself more than ever as she begins her journey towards the World Championships in Barcelona this summer.
The medley specialist will tackle no few than eight events, starting with the 200m individual medley and the 800m freestyle this morning.
Miley will follow that up with her favoured 400m medley tomorrow, going on to compete in the 200m free, 200m fly, 100m breaststroke, 400m free and 200m backstroke.
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