Mansfield Nova’s Paralympic stars, Ollie Hynd MBE and Charlotte Henshaw head out to Montreal in Canada this month to the IPC World Championships with clear goals to consolidate their fantastic 2012 success and to pit themselves against the world’s best disability swimmers.
After a brief respite following the London 2012 Paralympic Games, both athletes had to re-focus and start the next competitive swimming cycle, which will culminate at the Rio Paralympics in 2016.
The first step is the World Championships in Montreal from 12th to 18th August.
The next three and half years see major championships on the horizon for both Paralympic athletes, with possible European Championships in 2014, World Championships in Glasgow in 2015 and the Rio Paralympics in 2016.
In addition Ollie is set to compete in the Commonwealth Games next year.
For Ollie 2012 was a year to remember. He won gold in the SM8 200m individual medley in a European record, silver in the S8 400m freestyle and bronze in the S8 100m backstroke, becoming the most successful male Great Britain swimmer at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
The year culminated with Ollie being awarded the MBE in the Queens New Year’s Honours.
He will be swimming the same events in Montreal and has a tough programme with all three events scheduled for the first three days of competition, starting with the 100m backstroke on day one, 200m individual medley on day two and the 400m freestyle on day three.
In all three events Ollie has again real medal chances and will be looking to secure his place at the top of the rankings in his category.
However, he is under no illusion that the competition in Canada will be fierce, but the experience of London has made the 18-year-old from Kirkby more determined than ever to strive for more success in 2013.
Ollie’s brother, Sam Hynd, has also made the Great Britain team and will compete with Ollie in the SM8 200m individual medley and 400m freestyle.
Charlotte, who also had a tremendous London Games, taking silver in the Women’s SB6 100m breaststroke but just missing the gold by 0.03 second, is even more determined this year to better her London medal performance.
Again Charlotte knows that the competition will be tough, but, as with Ollie, the London experience has re-inspired her in 2013 to hopefully achieve further success.
This will be Charlotte’s second World Championships. In 2010 at Eindhoven, Holland, she took the silver in the SB6 100m breaststroke, after setting a world record in the heats – a time that still stands today as a European record.
Glenn Smith, Mansfield District Council’s swimming coach and development officer, will be travelling to Canada with Ollie and Charlotte as one of the Great Britain team coaches.
He has high hopes of success in Canada, but is clear about keeping the right amount of focus and professionalism, in order for both swimmers to achieve their performance goals.
Glenn said: “This will be the next opportunity for the world’s best disability swimmers to showcase their talent since the London Games.
“Both Ollie and Charlotte understand that the competition will be as tough as London and performance sport in the 21st Century means that there are no easy years.
“It’s testament to Ollie and Charlotte’s commitment and determination that they have re-focused quickly following London and have again put in the hard metres in training to ensure they are in best shape for Montreal.”
The Mansfield Nova Squad is supported by Mansfield District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council.
Ollie and Charlotte are recipients of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Shining Stars Fund for the current year.