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SWIMMING: Swindon freestyle star Turner eyes place at Commonwealth Games
FREESTYLE ace Grant Turner believes he is going into today’s British Swimming Championships in the best shape of his life.
With qualification for this summer’s Commonwealth Games at stake this week, sprint star Turner admits he may need a personal best performance to earn a place on the England team.
The action in Glasgow begins today although Turner is not in action until Saturday when he contests his strongest discipline, the 100m freestyle.
“It is always difficult to qualify for England, teams are difficult to get in to but that is the reason I am here,” Turner told the Swindon Advertiser.
“To make the Commonwealth Games team is the reason I am here and that is obviously my first goal.
“The 100m free is still my main event with the 50m just supplementing that.
“It would be nice to make a personal best in the freestyle, that is the aim.”
Spurring on the former Swindon Tigersharks swimmer at this year’s championships is his memory of winning silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Dehli in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
And if he makes the England team, the 25-year-old is desperate to grab top spot on the podium at the Games in Scotland.
“It was fantastic to pick up silver in Dehli, that was unbelievable,” added Turner.
“First I have to get in the team but then if I do it would be nice to go one better and pick up gold.
“For me anything could happen. I’ve always said if you have a lane you have a chance and I still believe that.
“I will just concentrate on my own race.
“There’s obviously some very good swimmers there but anyone could come through and win really.
“I’ll just get on with my job.”
Turner also believes changing coach last year is now paying dividends.
Now coached by James Gibson, Turner added: “The last couple of years have been a bit indifferent.
“I changed coach and had to settle into a new routine.
“For the last year and a half it (changing coaches) has taken some getting used to, I think it’s easier to do that when you are younger.
“We’ve done a lot of land work training and made a lot of progress in the gym.
“I’m getting really strong and it’s about transfering that into the pool.
“I’ve been enjoying it and that is the main thing.
“I’m in the best shape ever “The shape is there and I’ve been training harder than I have ever trained. Been working really hard in the gym.
“I’m hopeful that it will pay off. I’ve just been enjoying it and I’m excited about competing.”
Turner’s campaign starts on Saturday morning when he competes in the heats of the 100m freestyle with the semi-finals taking place in the evening session.
“If he makes the final, Turner will compete on Sunday night while his 50m free bid begins on Monday morning.
Fellow Swindon swimmer Craig Harris is also in action on Saturday when he competes in the S14 200m freestyle.
Harris goes into the British Championships in confident mood having recently broken the British short course record in the S14 200m freestyle discipline.
The former Swindon Dolphin swimmer must clock 2:02.77 to make the English team for July’s Games.
Fellow Swindon swimmers in action at Glasgow are Tilly Gray and Hannah Miley.
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