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O’Connor aims to keep momentum going

Commonwealth champion Siobhan-Marie O’Connor is hoping to keep the momentum of a successful four years going when she defends her title in Australia.

O’Connor struck gold in the 200m medley in Glasgow 2014 – one of six medals she won at the Games.

Now she is heading to Australia’s Gold Coast with an Olympic silver medal under her belt and is dreaming of adding more titles to her trophy cabinet.

Siobhan-Marie O'Connor
  • Age: 29/11/1995
  • Club: Bath National Centre
  • Coach: Dave McNulty
  • CWG: Won six medals including 200m IM gold on debut at Glasgow 2014

The 22-year-old Bath swimmer said: “I’m feeling really good about the Commonwealth Games.

“Glasgow was an amazing competition for me as a breakthrough meet and I absolutely love the Commonwealth Games.

“I’m working really, really hard in training to try and give myself the best opportunity to swim well on the Gold Coast.

“I had a great year in 2016. The year after was not so good but it’s always really tough to come back from an Olympics. But I’m really enjoying it again now and loving training again. It’s going well and, touch wood, I can keep  the momentum going. I can’t wait to go to the Gold Coast and compete and be part of the team.

“It’s going to be tough over there racing the Aussies on their home soil. It’s a challenge but we love a challenge. If I can get onto the podium, I will be really, really happy.”

O’Connor relishing a busy year

O’Connor, who warmed up for the trip to the Gold Coast by winning the 200m medley title at the British Swimming Championships in March,  is looking forward to competing in two major events this year – but says the Commonwealth Games are just as important as this summer’s European Championships.

“The Commonwealth Games are more than just a warm up [for the Europeans],” she said. “It’s a huge thing for us.

“I’m a massive sports fan and jealous of athletes that can compete again and again and again at major competitions.

‘”Swimming is a really, really gruelling sport and some times we only have one major event a year so to have two at different points of the year is great.

“It’s really exciting to be able to compete twice on such an amazing stage. The Commonwealth Games and European Championships are equally great for different reasons.

“I think its going to be a great year and really excited to see how the team does.”

Hoping to be in the best shape possible

One thing is for certain, O’Connor says she will be in the best shape possible for a busy year thanks to the work of Team England ahead of the Games.

“Australia is a long, long way away but such an amazing part of the world,” said O’Connor. “I have been there before and I loved it.

“As athletes, you want to be in the best possible shape when you get there. Team England are great.

“They’re so good as making it as good as it can be for the athletes in terms of nutrition, accommodation and the holding camp which are so important for the preparation.

“We feel in really good hands with the team. They’re telling us things to be aware of like the time difference and what to pack. It’s all pretty exciting and I just can’t wait to get out there now.”