Search
Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Ipswich duo geared up for nationals

PUBLISHED: 13:29 26 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:10 03 March 2010

SWIMMING: Karen Pickering and Zoe Cray will be among Britain's top swimming talent when they compete at the ASA Long Course Nationals this weekend.

Both members of Ipswich Swimming Club, the duo have been busy with their respective training schedules over the last few weeks, and look like being extremely successful in the Cardiff-based event.

SWIMMING

KAREN Pickering and Zoe Cray will be among Britain's top swimming talent when they compete at the ASA Long Course Nationals this weekend.

Both members of Ipswich Swimming Club, the duo have been busy with their respective training schedules over the last few weeks, and look like being extremely successful in the Cardiff-based event.

Karen, who recently returned from a training week with the female team of Commonwealth-bound swimmers, is feeling confident about her progress in the run-up to next month's games.

She will not expect to out-swim her personal records at the Nationals, but she does hope to improve on her results from the last meet – the British Super Grand Prix held earlier this month.

"At this point in training for something as big as the Commonwealths, you don't expect to go out there and smash all your records," Karen said.

"It's just about meeting your own goals. I felt I achieved the ones I set myself for Glasgow, and now I want to simply go faster than those times at Cardiff."

Originally from Brighton, 30-year-old Karen will be entering the 'holding camp' for the Commonwealth Games in just a few weeks' time.

Along with her coach, Dave Champion, and the fellow British team members, she will continue the final countdown from a training site in the heart of Loughborough.

"It will be a time of really mixed emotions when we arrive at the holding camp," Karen said. "I'll feel thoroughly excited that the event is finally upon us – but also incredibly nervous.

"No matter how many meets you do, it's really hard not to get nervous about something so big.

"For me, it's always worse on the actual day of the races in between the warm-up and taking to the blocks for my event. The adrenaline is running through you and all you want to do is get in the water and perform."

Karen is particularly proud of her place in this year's selection and says our British side probably ranks second favourites to the Australian swimming team.

"In terms of the world circuit, I think England is now seen as more of a threat because of their team potential," she said. "Where some squads have very good individuals, we're respected as being a real 'team', and for being thoroughly professional and competitive in our approach."

Despite occasional rumours that Karen may consider retiring after her Commonwealth swim, the Ipswich star says her sights are still firmly set on pool achievements – and on fulfilling her highest objectives.

"My motivation is still the Olympics," she insisted. "The Olympic medal is the only one that I don't have and it's my main reason for remaining focused on the swimming future that's still very much ahead of me."

FORTHCOMING DATES

Ipswich Primary Schools Gala – Wednesday, June 26, 6pm to 8.30pm.

Suffolk County Schools Gala – Wednesday, July 10 6pm to 9pm

British National Championships in Cardiff – Begins Saturday, June 29 (three day event).

Deben Swimming Club final sprint event for club championship series – Saturday, June 29.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists