GLASGOW holds fond memories for British swim star Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and now she is hoping to repeat the feelgood factor by collecting yet more silverware at December’s LEN European Short Course Championships.
O’Connor grabbed six medals on her Commonwealth Games debut for England at Glasgow 2014, including 200m individual medley gold and silver over 200m freestyle and 100m butterfly.
It laid the foundations for a rapid rise that saw her scoop Olympic silver in 2016 and then a further Commonwealth gold in the Gold Coast last year.
And with the Tokyo Olympic Games now firmly on the horizon in 12 months’ time – O’Connor is a woman on a mission; hell-bent on delivering success for Britain in Glasgow.
“Glasgow is a special pool and the atmosphere in there is great,” the 23-year-old said.
“It’s quite small and compact so the noise when you walk out is pretty intense when everyone’s cheering for you – it’s a really good environment.
“I’m really excited – I’m really lucky that I’ve had quite a few opportunities to race in front of a home crowd, and every single time it’s just fantastic.
“I’ve had great memories in Glasgow – the 2014 Commonwealth Games was my highlight.
“It’s a massive springboard for Tokyo – it will be our last short course competition before Christmas, so it’s a really important part of our Olympic season calendar.”
O’Connor shot to fame in Rio after claiming the silver medal at the age of just 20, missing out on the gold by 0.3 seconds after Katinka Hosszu – her long-term nemesis – broke the Olympic 200m IM record with a time of 2 minutes 6.58 seconds.
That was preceded by two golds at the European Long Course Championships in London in 2016 – in both the individual and team medleys – developing her burgeoning reputation as one of British swimming’s brightest young stars.
And with the countdown to Tokyo accelerating, she says she’s eager to replicate her 2016 Games success and clinch a spot on the podium once again.
“It’s a dream come true and very special to represent your country at the Olympic Games,” she added.
“It’s what I’ve wanted to do for a really young age – travel the world, represent my country and stand on that Olympic podium.
“It would mean a lot to get a seat on the plane to Tokyo and I just want to give it everything this year and leave no stone unturned.
“Swimming’s up and down, but this year’s really important and I’m going to give it everything to get back onto that Olympic podium.”
You can join Siobhan-Marie O’Connor at one of the biggest sporting events of the year by buying tickets now from www.euroswim2019.com