Thomas-Howells relishing her return to the Olympic Aquatics Centre
BUDDING swimmer Siwan Thomas-Howells has already had a dip in the Olympic pool but with another chance to at the Sainsbury’s School Games she’s itching to dive back in.
The 15-year-old got a taste of the Olympic Aquatics Centre at the British Championships in March, competing in the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle against the likes of Fran Halsall.
Thomas-Howells didn’t quite achieve her target of a personal best in London but she is adamant the experience will prove to be a vital one.
She has European Youth Olympic Festival silver and bronze from 2011 to her name as well as medals of the same colour from the Commonwealth Youth Games in the same year.
And, with the chance to see whether her previous experience of swimming in the Olympic Aquatics Centre was worthwhile at the School Games, she can’t wait.
“I went to the Olympic trials and it was a great experience, I swam just outside of my personal best,” said Thomas-Howells.
“Overall I was happy with my performance obviously it was a big deal and to perform in such an atmosphere with such great athletes was fantastic.
“My aim at the School Games is to win medals and swim some personal best times hopefully. Gold would be fantastic but it’s about swimming fast.
“I’m a proud Welsh girl, so it’s always fun to be competing for my country, and we are usually made up of the same people because we are not a huge community.
“This is a big event for me, the more experience you get at these sorts of events the better you become hopefully.”
Thomas-Howells has not competed since the British Championships but, rather than fearing rustiness, she is confident she has been refreshed by the break and is raring to go again.
“I’ve just got back from a little break so it’s a good chance to see where I am,” she added. “It’s a good test against athletes the same age as me from across Britain, and to be competing at the Olympic venue is a huge thing.
“You can get a feel for the whole event, it will be really exciting, it’s sort of like a mini Olympics and I think we’ll be in the village as well, which will add to the experience.”
The Sainsbury's 2012 School Games is being held in the Olympic Park and other venues from 6-9 May 2012 with school-aged elite athletes competing across 12 sports. Visit www.2012schoolgames.com for more information.
© Sportsbeat 2012