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James is the Guy for rookie advice

As a youngster, James Guy was inspired by the magnificent achievements of the legendary Michael Phelps.

Now he has told Team England’s Commonwealth Games rookies his philosophy to becoming a champion – having swum faster than his hero in Rio.

James Guy
  • DOB: 26/11/1995
  • Club: Bath National Centre
  • Coach: Jol Finck
  • CWG: Won 400m Free bronze and 4x100m Medley Relay gold on debut at Glasgow 2014

Guy was part of the 4x200m freestyle relay team which finished second behind Phelps and the American team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

But Guy swam the anchor leg in 1.44.85 – the second fastest split of anyone in the final, including Phelps who came home in 1.45.26.

The 22-year-old Bath swimmer, who is taking part in his second Commonwealth Games, said: “Phelps was my real inspiration because of what he did in the pool, how good he was and how he dominated every single event.

“That passion you have for the pool and the sport has all changed because of him.

A learning curve

“Rio was a massive learning curve for me. I raced the greatest of all time and my 4x200m time was faster than his, which was quite nice.

“To race him and see the way he approaches his races, the way he swims in the water and warms up,  all these things you have to watch. It was really inspirational.

“If you want to be a champion, you can’t be normal. You have to do things differently. You can’t just do a normal session.

“You have to have that pain threshold where you just keep going and keep going and that’s what separates champions from an normal person. Stick to the plan, eat healthily and enjoy it.”

Guy has always had competitive edge

Guy is one of the most decorated members of the Team England squad in Australia, having won six medals – including three gold – from the past two FINA World Championships.

The English swimmer, who won relay gold and individual bronze on his Commonwealth debut four years ago, says he has always been extremely competitive – and that won’t change when he’s in Australia.

“When I was nine or 10,  I swam the 50m butterfly in like 38 seconds,” he said.

“I remember it to this day but that urge to race and the passion I had for competition was just there and it’s never changed.  That’s what I want to do and I absolutely love it.

“We’re ramping things up in the pool and everything is starting to get a lot more serious. But I feel like I’m in a good spot.”