Simon Burnett is a veteran of the Commonwealth Games having competed in Manchester in 2002 and then in Melbourne in 2006, where he claimed 100m and 200m freestyle gold and silver respectively.

However, at 26, the freestyle specialist knows his best years are soon to be behind him with young guns Adam Brown and Robbie Renwick eagerly awaiting to fill his shoes.

The British Championships present Burnett - who is based out of Tuscan, Arizona - with the first chance to book a ticket to his third Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October.

And while admitting he doesn't know what to expect in Sheffield he believes his maturing years will be a help and not a hindrance at Ponds Forge.

Burnett said: "I am getting older now and things are just different, I know my body is very different now but the aim as always is to qualify at the first attempt.

"I can't train like a 17 or 18-year-old anymore so I have been doing a lot less pool work and a lot more yoga because I have been having a few issues with my knees.

"As you get older you get naturally stronger and as you grow you have to use that natural change to your advantage.

"I think 2006 still remains my best achievement in the pool and things have been up and down ever since. That confidence of being able to perform well is still there.

"But ever since those Commonwealth Games I haven't been quite sure what is going to happen. It has been very difficult and a worry but I am hoping for this year to be positive."

Should Burnett - who will compete in the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyles - fail at the first attempt he will have one last chance to qualify for the Commonwealth Games in August.

Burnett will make a near 10,000 mile round trip from his home in Arizona to compete in Sheffield but insists he will have no qualms doing it again if the worst comes to the worst.

He said: "If I qualify I won't have to worry about things but it's nice to have that second trial and second option to qualify.

"It is good to have that back up if it doesn't go as well as I had hoped and because it is in August it will allow me to go back to America and prepare myself again.

"I don't think you reach your physical peak until you are 27 and I have been a late bloomer but I have the desire to push on until I am 28 and 29 having gone back to basics this year."

Story courtesy of morethanthegames. Ryan Bangs of Sportsbeat.