Siobhan-Marie O’Connor excited by this week’s British Swimming Championships
AFTER a winter locked away in training Bath’s Siobhan-Marie O’Connor insists she is now ready to put it all to good use at this weekend’s British Swimming Championships.
With the British Championships taking place in the London Aquatics Centre and doubling up as the London 2012 trials, March 3 has been pencilled in on O’Connor’s calendar for some time.
This meant the 16-year-old spent the winter months putting in the hours in the training pool, even heading to Australia to get the better of her rivals for one of the two Olympic 200m medley spots up for grabs.
And after putting in the hard work the St Gregory’s Catholic College admits she is well and truly ready to stretch her legs, hoping to get book a return to the capital this summer in the process.
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“I have had a really good training block over winter out in Australia and since I got back last month and just can’t wait to put it all into practice now at the British champs,” said O’Connor, who is also set to compete in the 100m freestyle and breaststroke events this weekend.
“All the hard work has been put in and everything is in place so now it is all about transferring that across and putting it all together at the trials.
“I have got myself into the right places through my training and I am confident that I can race to the best of my ability.
“I know that everyone will be in the same shape though because this is the big one and all the big names will be there but all I can do is concentrate on myself.
“So it is also going to be about mental toughness and about making last-minute decisions and hopefully I get them right and can achieve my goals.”
Despite being just a teenager O’Connor is no stranger to the bright lights of senior competition, having travelled to Shanghai for last year’s World Championships.
And following her whirlwind 2011 the Bath ITC starlet is hoping these past experiences pay dividends when the best of Britain gather for a taste of London 2012 this weekend.
“I am pleased that I have the experience of a World Championship under my belt because it means I can deal with the pressure that comes with a big competition a little better,” added O’Connor, who has been chosen as one of Kellogg’s’ Champions of Tomorrow.
“I do still get starstruck as I can’t believe I am sharing the pool with some of the bigger names but I love going up against these kind of swimmers so can’t wait for the trials.
“But hopefully I can block it all out and book myself a place back in the pool for the summer for the London Olympics.”
To celebrate 15 years of support for British Swimming, Kellogg's is offering a ‘Free Kids Swim' on 30 million packs of cereal to encourage families to take the plunge together. Collect a voucher on pack and take it down to your local participating pool. For more information, please visit www.kelloggs.co.uk/freeswim