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Lizzie Simmonds offers advice to the Team England rookies

Commonwealth Games silver medallist Lizzie Simmonds has offered the perfect advice to Team England’s rookie swimmers – as the self-confessed ‘grandma’ of the squad.

The 27-year-old, from Beverley, who finished second in the 200m backstroke in Delhi in 2010, is relishing the opportunity to compete in the 2018 event on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Lizzie Simmonds
  • Date of Birth: 22/01/1991
  • Club: Edinburgh University
  • Coach: Shannon Rollason
  • CWG: Competed 2014 & 2010. Won 200m Back silver at Delhi 2010.

It will be her third appearance at the Commonwealth Games but she has told first-time competitors to not be over-awed by the occasion.

“Just try and enjoy it,” said Edinburgh University swimmer Simmonds. “It’s no different to any other competition.

“The swimming pool is the same size and you’ll be doing the same amount of lengths.

“There’s quite a few rookies so I’m the grandma of the team but it helps to have that experience.

“The atmosphere is going to be electric but try not to get too carried away with what’s going in the village and what’s going on with other athletes.

“Remember to do what works well for you. That’s what got you here and that’s what’s going to take you to success.”

Healthy competition between home nation swimmers

Simmonds said the Games was a ‘fun’ event and there was always a healthy competition between the home nation swimmers – who may have been team-mates at other major events.

She said: “The pressure is slightly different to other international majors but definitely there is always fast swimming and that really good head to head rivalry between the top swimming nations in the world.

“The main difference is obviously when you’re standing behind the blocks you might be next to someone who was on your team before and who is now not on your team. There’s a really healthy rivalry.

“I know the Scots always come into it wanting to beat us on a couple of relays, things like that. It’s great to be part of that.

“It’s healthy competition for us to take into the other major internationals and I can’t wait to get out there.”

Simmonds is a former European champion in the 200m Backstroke and has also twice represented Team GB at the Olympic Games in 2008 and 2012.

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