Former Team Ipswich swimmers Chris Walker-Hebborn and Lewis Coleman picked for England’s Commonwealth Games team
Swimming stars Chris Walker-Hebborn and Lewis Coleman will fly the flag for Suffolk in the pool this summer, after being selected for England’s Commonwealth Games squad.
Bury St Edmunds-born Walker-Hebborn, 23, and former Kesgrave High School pupil Coleman, 22, will go to Glasgow as part of a 39-strong squad that will compete at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre, between July 24-29.
The former Team Ipswich duo will swim in at least three disciplines between them with Walker-Hebborn, who won bronze in the 4x100m medley at the 2010 Games in India, expected to be in gold medal contention in the 100m and 50m backstroke events.
Meanwhile, Sheffield-based swimmer Coleman, who lived in Woodbridge between the ages of 14 and 18, will definitely be racing in the 4x200m relay and is hopeful he has done enough to chase a medal in the 200m IM.
He finished third in the 200m IM at the recent British Gas Swimming Championships in Glasgow, behind Roberto Pavoni and Joseph Roebuck – all three failing to meet the qualifying time.
Team Bath swimmer Walker-Hebborn, who is Britain’s top-ranked backstroker, fared better, picking up two golds in the 50 and 100m backstroke events and pipped two-time world champion Liam Tancock in both events.
“I didn’t perform as well as I would have hoped and there is more to come from me,” said Walker-Hebborn.
“It’s all very new to me though, having dropped the 200m for the 50m, in terms of training and seeing what works and what doesn’t.
“But it was always an easy decision to drop the 200m, given my time in the 100m.
“Ideally, based on my 100 metres time, I would like to think I could go and win gold, but I will be up against a couple of good Australian swimmers, while (Liam) Tancock will want to be in contention.
“In the 50m I’m looking for the same sort of thing. I’ll be hoping to win some tin.”
For Coleman, it’s a case of wait-and-see.
“All four (200m IM) times were below the qualifying standard (in Scotland) so I’m not sure,” he said.
“My training won’t change, but I’ll make a few tweaks and watch my races back on DVD.
“I think we have a good medal shout in the relay, while if I make the 200m IM, I’ll look to get out really fast in the heats and hopefully be in the mix for a medal.”
“I was a little bit off in the trials and I will be looking to rectify that.”
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