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Anna Hopkin hoping Team England's performances can inspire club swimmers

Anna Hopkin hopes Team England’s performances in the pool at this summer’s Commonwealth Games will act as a spur to motivate club swimmers up and down the country.

Olympic gold medallist Hopkin was one of 10 initially selected in the swimming squad who will be competing at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre during Birmingham 2022.

When asked if a home Commonwealth Games can act as an inspiration to youngsters, the 25-year-old said: “I hope so.

“It’s been a tough few years for clubs and club swimmers. Hopefully, having this home Games, a lot of club swimmers can come and watch and see some of us swimming and it will motivate people to keep going.

“Whether it’s trying to get to the level I’m at or just doing it for fun and enjoyment, I think at any level it’s important.

“It’s done so much for me coming back into the sport at a later time and reignited my love for swimming.

“It just shows no matter what age you are or what level you are it’s so important to have that club support.”

Hopkin believes Birmingham 2022 will be a special experience and it remains an important competition for her.

She won her first senior international medal during her debut Games appearance on the Gold Coast in 2018, picking up a bronze as part of the Women’s 4x100m Freestyle relay team.

And it was that success that helped Hopkin realise she could compete at the highest level.

“It’s definitely a really important competition for me,” she said. “In 2018 it was my first real taste of a major international competition and it was my first major international medal.

Lot of confidence

4x100m Freestyle relay bronze medallists

“That was such a special occasion for me and a point where felt I could really take my swimming somewhere.

“To kind of revisit it four years later and be in such a different position now having been to the Olympics and won an Olympic medal and won individual international medals gives me a lot of confidence.

“I’m going into knowing I’m in a better place now than I was then but it’s still going to be such a special experience.

“I feel like Commonwealth Games for me is more on a level with Worlds and Olympics than it is Europeans.

“It’s going to be really tough but amazing to have such a high-quality competition which will be going on in Birmingham – it’s exciting.

“My aim is to make the final and see what can happen from there really.

“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind since the Olympics. A bit more attention has brought in different opportunities, which is really exciting. 

“It’s quite a big year coming up but I got a lot of confidence from the summer and hopefully I can take that into this year.”

Hopkin is looking forward to competing in front of crowds once again and she is hopeful of carrying o her success from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games into Birmingham for the sake of her family and friends.

“Hopefully a lot of my friends and family can come and watch me,” she said. “My mum and dad try and get to most of the competition I do no matter where they are.

“But a lot of my extended family and friends never really get to see me race so it will be nice to share that with them.”