Kirkby star Ollie Hynd is gearing up to try to complete a grand slam of top swimming medals at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow at the end of this month.
Hynd, awarded the MBE last year and still only 19, is already the Paralympics, World and European champion in the SM8 200m individual medley and now has the chance to complete the set.
“I can’t think of anyone who has ever done it before,” he said. “I hope I can get all four – that would be good.
“Being almost on home soil again it will be reminiscent of London. The atmosphere is going to be electric and I will be able to feed off that.
“That’s what I am going there for. That has been my goal all year.
“I am feeling pretty confident to be honest. Training has gone well and I’ve put in some good work. There is no reason to think I am not capable of doing it. Looking at some of the times that have been posted round the world, I think I am in the best position. I will go there and see what I’ve got.”
Ollie has just returned from the British International Meet in Manchester where he won gold in the MC men’s 400m freestyle, silver in his favoured 200m individual medley and bronze in the 100 backstroke.
He said: “I was pretty happy with the three medals. Some of the times were a bit slower than I was hoping for. But they did get a bit better so I guess that’s a positive.
“”It was the last meet before the Commonwealths so I was trying to see where I was and do the things I wanted to do.
“The times were a bit off my best, but I had just come off a training camp in Cyprus and done a few other things so I was pretty tired. But I don’t think I am far off at all.”
Glasgow will represent the first major championships in which Ollie will not be up against older brother and fellow Paralympic gold medal winner Sam, who decided to retire from the sport at the age of 22 in February.
“Before, people were asking me if it felt weird Sam being there,” said Ollie. “But now that has kind of flipped and it will be really strange not to have him there.
“But I don’t think it will make any difference one way or the other. It always made a good story and we didn’t want to lose to each other.
“But I don’t think him not being there puts me under any more or less pressure. I know exactly what I want to achieve and that’s where the pressure comes from.”
Joining Ollie in Glasgow will be Selston swimmer Mollie Renshaw.
“I believe I went to school with her for a short while when she came over to Ashfield for sixth form,” said Ollie. “I have seen her poolside and know her to say hello to.”
Ollie is now making his final preparations for the task ahead.
He said: “I have just over two weeks of normal training left. Then it will slightly begin to come down, easing off the gym work and pool work and then hopefully I will be fresh and rested in in the best possible shape.
“I swim on the 28th July but we will go up as a team before that and get about the village and stuff.
“ It has been a really busy few weeks and that doesn’t end in Glasgow.
“I have just had an orientation camp at the National Performance Centre in Manchester for the Europeans in Eindhoven which come straight after the Commonwealths.”