Medal swimmer aims for Commonwealth splash

Jack Thorpe swimmer with his medal'Photo Emma Mitchell'10/7/12
Jack Thorpe swimmer with his medal'Photo Emma Mitchell'10/7/12

A SWIMMING star dreaming of Commonwealth Games glory is on track for another podium place next week.

Jack Thorpe (18) picked up silver a couple of weeks ago at the Scottish Open in Edinburgh and is ranked in the top two for Tuesday’s prestigious Youth Championships in Sheffield.

The former Douglas Academy pupil specialises in the 50m freestyle.

Jack said: “The British Youth Championships are the toughest event I’ll take part in this year.

“Swimmers come from across the UK so it will be very competitive. I am ranked second so hopefully I’ll medal again in the 50 freestyle.”

And the Milngavie swimmer added: “I’m also racing in the 100m freestyle as well, but not ranked as high. I think I’m third or fourth so could pick up something if I’m lucky.”

However, Jack’s main aim over the next two years is qualifying for the 2014 Commonwealth Games when they come to Glasgow – and he is quietly confident of a place.

He said: “Qualifying for the Commonwealth Games is definitely my target. Overall I am ranked second in the country in the 50m and two people are selected for the games, so I’m on track. All I need to do is keep winning.”

This season has seen the Milngavie and Bearsden Swimming Club racer repeatedly knock split-seconds off his 50m freestyle time and in Sheffield he believes he can beat the clock once again.

The trend started at the Olympic Trials in March where Jack took half a second off his personal best, clocking 23.84secs over 50m. Just over a month later he went even faster, reducing his personal best to 23.65secs.

Only 18 months ago Jack favoured long-distance swimming, but his coach Craig Houston suggested he turn to sprinting and he insists that life in the fast lane suits him much better.

Jack said: “My coach used to be the Scottish 50m free record holder so he’s very big on sprinting. He saw the potential and said my style was much more suited to 50m.”

ON A ROLL . . . Jack Thorpe is on track to compete in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth