Kirkby’s Paralympic and world champion Ollie Hynd insists he is in the best shape of his life ahead of next month’s IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow.
The 20-year-old is heading to his second World Championships as one of the favourites after bursting onto the scene at the 2011 European Championships in Berlin.
The Nova Centurion swimmer won SM8 200m individual medley gold at London 2012 and double gold at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal.
He then won the 200m IM gold for Team England at the Commonwealth Games before adding double gold and silver at the IPC Swimming European Championships in Eindhoven – the latter completing the full set of international medals.
Next in his sights are this year’s World Championships in Glasgow – the same city that hosted last year’s Commonwealth Games – and Hynd explained that he is raring to go upon his return to the Tollcross International Swimming Centre.
“Training has been going really well,” he said. “I’ve just come back from Cyprus with the British team and got a good 10 days of training.
“We’ve got the Scottish Nationals coming up at the end of June and that will be the last big meet before Glasgow and will be good race preparation.
“I’ve put in a lot of good work in the last 10 weeks and I’m feeling really confident, I’m probably in the best shape of my life.
“It’ll be exciting going back to Glasgow, I have some great memories from the Commonwealth Games and I look forward to making some new ones and it’s always nice when you go back to familiar surroundings at a major championship.”
With the World Championships being just over a year out from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Hynd explained that the very best swimmers in the world will push hard to lay down a marker.
But he is confident of stepping up his performance and chasing the 400m world record held by his brother Sam – who retired in February 2014.
“My aim is to put in the best times possible and go faster than ever,” added Hynd, who broke his first world record last year when he posted a time of 2:08.71 in the 200m freestyle at the Deutsche Meisterschaft.
“I am holding two titles in the 400m freestyle and 200m individual medley and I really want to defend those titles.
“I feel really confident in my training, I’ve put the hard work in and it’s exciting to be preparing for another major championship ahead of Rio.
“The Worlds are a building block heading up to next year, but this will be a good chance to compete against the best in the world and perfect those minor changes which will make a big difference come Rio.
“I’m concentrated on my own performance, it’ll be nice to see how the competition is doing, but as long as I’m the best version of myself I know I can do well, and if someone beats me then they deserve it.”
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