Sheffield swimmer Max Litchfield is a man on a mission, determined to put this year’s British trials disappointment behind him by storming to success in the pool at next month’s World University Games.
Litchfield was chasing qualification for this summer’s World Championships in Kazan at April’s trials, posting the fastest time in his 400m individual medley heats before he was subsequently disqualified for an illegal turn.
The 20-year-old has a chance to bounce back shortly thought having been picked as part of the 67-strong Great Britain and Northern Ireland team who will had to Gwangju, South Korea, from July 3-14 for the World University Games.
A biennial event, the Games will see over 12,000 student athletes from 170 nations compete across 21 sports.
And Litchfield, a second year physiotherapy student at Sheffield Hallam University, believes the multi-sport event can provide invaluable experience ahead of trying to make next year’s Olympics in Rio.
“For me personally, it’s the big competition of my cycle so it’s a focus meet for me,” he said.
“I’m looking to perform at a high standard against some of the high competition out in Korea.
“I had a disappointing trials earlier this year, a few things went wrong so hopefully I can turn them around and put in a good performance this time.
“I swam well but unfortunately I was disqualified in the 400IM which was my big chance of making the world’s team.
“It’s disappointing as I swam well in the heats but I’ve put that behind me now, focusing on next year and the Olympics and it’s a building block this year with Korea and it’s a great opportunity to race internationally as opposed to just nationally.
“I’ll be looking to hit a good time in the 400IM, potentially get in and amongst the medals, I’ll be happy to get a good performance.
“Overall, I’m looking to hit those skills right, if the times are not quite there then fair enough but as long as I put in that process and make sure everything is on a good track, by next year I should be up there with the big boys.”
The World University Games will not be Litchfield’s first experience of a multi-sport games however with the swimmer having represented England at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
He plans to take part in the 200m and 400m individual medley races as well as the 400m freestyle in South Korea, although it is the entire event he is relishing being a part of.
“I was at the Commonwealth’s last year, but this event is much bigger in terms of numbers participating so it should be a great lead up into the Olympics and give me a taste of what Rio will be like,” he added.
“I’m looking forward to the experience and meeting new people in Korea. The Commonwealth’s were a similar experience but on a smaller scale and I really enjoyed that and the village life and living within the houses with teammates – it’s like one big family.”
© Sportsbeat 2015