BLACKBURN swimmer Josh Walsh believes he is in prime position for an assault on the Commonwealth Games trials after scooping up the 200m freestyle silver at the BUCS Gatorade Nationals.
Walsh, who competed for the University of Stirling, posted a time of 1minute 50.42 seconds good enough for second place behind Cardiff Metropolitan’s Ieuan Lloyd.
The championships formed part of Walsh’s training regime for the Commonwealth Trials in April and though he admits victory would have tasted sweeter, the former Southlands High School pupil is adamant he will hit his peak at just the right time.
“It’s not as nice as first unfortunately but still I’m pleased with the race and fairly pleased with the time, it’s nothing amazing but it’s solid at this time of the season,” said the 22-year-old.
“I’ve just got to look to move it on next time I race against these lads which is in six weeks’ time.
“That’s the quickest time I’ve done this season so no complaints from that point of view, times are moving forward and we’ve got another three weeks of hard work now – then we’ll take on the Commonwealth Trials in April.
“I’ve learned as I’ve got older not to put too much expectation on the trials, you’ve just got to keep it relaxed and give it everything.
“The standard of swimming in Britain now has moved on so much that you can only go in with a positive mindset.”
Walsh’s Stirling teammate and Chorley swimmer Ryan Bennett also picked up a second-place finish in the 100m butterfly (54.38seconds) – and is backing himself to make the grade for Scotland in April.
The 23-year-old, who moved north of the border for university six years ago, is confident the daily grind in the pool is starting to pay off. “It felt a lot harder than the heats, a little bit quicker for a lot more effort but that’s probably due to being in hard training and getting ready for the Commonwealth Trials,” he added.
“Overall I’m happy and didn’t think I dropped off much throughout so it was a good race altogether.”
n Gatorade is the exclusive nutrition and hydration partner to British Universities & Colleges Sports and headline sponsor of the BUCS Gatorade Nationals. BUCS and Gatorade work together to educate student athletes on the importance of sports nutrition and hydration visit: www.bucs.org.uk/gatorade