With only days to go until the action in the pool gets underway in Delhi, Britain’s top athletes are wrapping up their final preparations at the British Swimming holding camp, powered by British Gas, ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
Sixty-six swimmers from all three home nations, along with world-class coaches and support staff, were present in Doha, Qatar, for one of the largest camps that British Swimming has ever hosted.
The likes of double Olympic Champion Rebecca Adlington, world record holder Liam Tancock and World Champion Gemma Spofforth made use of the excellent facilities provided at the Aspire Sporting complex to polish off the hard work before they go for Commonwealth glory.
National Performance Director Michael Scott believes that the camp has been a success: “I have been very happy with how everything has gone. It has been professional and relaxed and everyone has enjoyed the world class facilities. It has ticked all of the boxes and now everyone is ready to go for Delhi.
“The climate, the proximity to Delhi's time zone and the world class facilities made Doha the right choice for the British Swimming World Class programme.
“The reason the home nations came together was because 2010 is one year in the four year cycle and we want to hold a major camp each year and test our structures. By doing this we can make sure we will be ready Edinburgh camp in 2012.”
Chris Nesbitt, Head Coach to the Team England swimmers, echoed Scott’s praise: “The team is pretty relaxed and purposefully doing what they need to do at this point. From the coaches’ feedback and my observations things are pretty positive. We have had lots of pool time and everyone has been able to do what is needed without distraction.”
Looking toward the Games he added: “In Delhi I want the athletes to get the best out of themselves and move on from their trial meet which was in March. If people swim best times then it will show that they are moving forward and they will be competitive with the best in the Commonwealth.
“On the first day we are looking for the team to be unified, alert and ready to go from the first event. We have a six day competition and I want them to show a sustained effort throughout. I want them to start strong and finish strong.”
Martyn Woodroffe, Performance Manager for Wales, believes the camp has been great preparation for all the swimmers: “These have been really excellent facilities, we have enjoyed the benefit of some fantastic support staff and the team has wanted for nothing.
“We are all really looking forward to getting into Delhi now. Our support staff have travelled over there and we want to get started.
“Our aim is to be the best ever Welsh team and I hope we can achieve this.”
All of the athletes will now move into the Athletes’ Village with their respective teams in Delhi before the first day of swimming competition begins on Monday 4th October.
photos Janos Schmidt