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Luke Greenbank targets double goal in Team England colours at Commonwealths

Team England’s Luke Greenbank has set his sights on achieving a double target at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The Olympic medallist is aiming to use the competition as experience to further enhance his growing international career.

But he also wants to inspire the next generation to either take up the sport or continue their journey at a club level.

Greenbank will be one of the favourites to land the 200m Backstroke title at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre this summer having won bronze at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

He finished behind Russian Olympic Committee’s Evgeny Rylov and America’s Ryan Murphy in Japan – but neither will be in action at Birmingham.

Now he hopes his second appearance at a Commonwealth Games will also play a key role in his development.

“For me, 2021 was such an amazing year with the Olympics,” said the 24-year-old National Centre Loughborough swimmer.

“It’s what can I do next, how can I improve on that. It’s very much a case of keeping the momentum going and just looking to get better really.

Best experiences

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“I was very proud of what I achieved at the Olympics. It was an amazing opportunity and an amazing experience but I still didn’t come away with a gold medal and that’s something I have definitely my eyes on at the next Olympics.

“I’ll be using the Commonwealths as a huge stepping stone to gain a lot of experience of racing at an international level.”

Greenbank picked up a silver medal at the Gold Coast Games as part of the Men’s 4x100m Medley Relay team and said his Australian adventure taught him a lot.

He said: “It’s obviously a major competition taken very seriously. 

“You have the added bonus of it being multi-sport as well and that experience I had at the Gold Coast in 2018 helped me prepare for village life really well in 2021.

“The swimming experience was probably a little bit challenging. I was at that point in my career where I was transitioning from junior to senior and not swimming as I would like to.

“But in terms of an overall experience of a Games, it was one of the best experiences I have had as a swimmer.

“Just the environment, the village, the team – I really really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to hopefully getting back to that in Birmingham.

Excellent opportunity

Luke Greenbank wearing Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth kit

“I think I’m in a really good position to go in and win it but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. 

“I don’t want to get ahead of myself and become complacent. I believe I have a really good chance but I have to do everything right to maximise my performance going into Birmingham.”

Should Greenbank top the podium, he will regard it as a double triumph as it will mean he will also be inspiring the next wave of Commonwealth champions.

“The opportunity to give back to the next generation is really important to me,” said Greenbank.

“Our results from Tokyo suggest we’re on a really good path at the minute in terms of the home nations so I think Commonwealths is an excellent opportunity to build on that.

“To get some of the younger generations to actually see that in person is really important. So I look forward to hopefully inspiring a few of them if they come to watch.

“There needs to be a big push to keep kids involved in the sport – I think that’s really important.

“It’s a crucial time when we are starting to get back to normal and we need to keep the opportunities flowing for that young generation at a grassroots level.”

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