EXCITEMENT is intensifying in the build-up to the LEN European Short Course Championships and few understand the beauty of the format more than British backstroke star Luke Greenbank.
Greenbank catapulted himself into British swimming folklore this summer by being part of the quartet that won gold in the 4x100m medley in the World Championships, racing the first leg to lay the foundations for their triumph.
The Crewe-born swimmer also won an individual bronze at the championships in Gwangju, achieving a personal best time of 1:55.85 in the 200m backstroke to surpass even his own expectations.
And his attention now turns to the short course format, as he prepares to travel to Glasgow this December for a competition he believes is unique to the sport.
“I’m really excited – I love swimming short course and it’s something a bit different,” said the 22-year-old.
“It’s a bit of a change, especially in Glasgow at a really good venue, so I’m really looking forward to it.
“What makes short course special is that it’s more exciting, the times are faster and you’ve got more variability in the water with the turns.
“It’s a bit more unexpected and the races tend to be closer and faster.
“When I swum in Glasgow at the European Championships in 2018 it was amazing – it was a really good atmosphere and everyone got behind us.
“Training’s been going really well – I’m really enjoying it and we want to go onto bigger and better things this season.”
For all his World Championship success, the youthful Greenbank is yet to represent his country on the Olympic stage.
Now he is hoping to join forces once again with his gold-winning medley companions Adam Peaty, Duncan Scott and James Guy in Tokyo.
And he says he’s acutely aware of just how important the short course format can be in helping to propel him towards a selection spot.
“It can definitely act as a stepping stone,” he added.
“It gives you that confidence going into the next championships so I’m really looking to do well there.
“I want to use the short course format as a springboard and build on that momentum.
“It’s always been my dream to make an Olympic team and hopefully get on the podium – it would be a big tick off that bucket list so that would be a dream come true.”
You can join Luke Greenbank at one of the biggest sporting events of the year by buying tickets now from www.euroswim2019.com