Games can help Tom Fannon achieve Olympic dream

Tom Fannon believes the Commonwealth Games can help him achieve his ultimate goal of swimming at the Olympics.

The 19-year-old Plymouth Leander swimmer set a personal best of 22.10 in the 50m freestyle as he won the gold medal at the Swim England National Winter Championships – narrowly ahead of his fellow Team England squad member David Cumberlidge.

Tom Fannon
  • DOB: 20/05/1998
  • Club: Plymouth Leander
  • Coaches: Robin Armayan
  • CWG: Making debut at Gold Coast 2018

And Fannon hopes the Gold Coast experience will be the ideal preparation as he sets his sights on competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

“For anyone, the Commonwealth Games is a major competition,” said Fannon, who won a bronze medal at the 2016 European Junior Championships in Hungary.

“It would be silly to say you are not looking forward to it or you don’t want to go as everyone wants to go. It’s part of the process as my aim is Tokyo 2020 and the 2024 Olympics after that.

“It will be nice to go [to Australia] and have that experience of competing at a major event like that. I think it will help me for the future.

“All eyes are set on 2020.”

Staying focused

Fannon is looking to make an impact on more senior events this year after a promising junior career – and says training with reigning Commonwealth and world champion Ben Proud has helped inspire him.

“Hopefully, I can try and get into the senior events and start medalling,” he said. “It’s everyone’s dream to medal at the higher meets.

“I’ll keep my head down, keep focused in training and hitting personal bests and see how it goes.

“I’ve been training with Ben for four years now and he has always been someone I look up to. It’s nice to see him doing well after Rio and everything is going his way now.

“It’s good for British sprinting. We do not really have many big names in British swimming. Now he is up there in the world and getting medals for GB, sprinting as a whole is finally getting recognised again.

“That’s nice as it will inspire the next generation as well so it’s good for him, me and everyone else.”