My first and last....with Matt Clay
GIRL power might be dominating the British swim team but Commonwealth champion Matt Clay is determined to strike back for the boys.
THINKING BIG: Backstroke specialist Matt Clay is looking forward to this week's European Short Course Championships in Istanbul (onEdition)
The backstroke specialist, who missed out on this year's World Championships in Rome, is in Turkey for this week's European Short Course Championships.
He has come a long way from his back garden pool in South Africa and the Somerset junior championships.
Here he is chatting with Sportsbeat's Holly Hamilton....
My first swimming experience: I grew up in South Africa where everyone had pools in the back garden so I was pretty young when I had my first swim. I remember getting a new digital watch for my birthday and jumping straight in the pool not realising that it would ruin my present. My mum was jumping up and down screaming at me to get out - luckily that memory didn't put me off swimming for life!
My first podium finish: That was at the Somerset County Championships when I was ten years old. It was only the third or fourth competition I had ever entered but I managed to get silver which I was really pleased with. That performance qualified me for the next level of regional competition, even though I had no idea what that meant on the day.
My first win: My first win was at the National Championships when I was 16. I had gone there the year before but slipped over and never even got to race. The disappointment I felt meant I would never let that happen again and I managed to just hold on in the closing stages to win gold the following year.
My first Olympic memory: That was watching the Barcelona Games in 1992 and seeing Alexander Popov and Matt Biondi compete in the pool. They were such great swimmers.
My first injury: When I was 14 I had spent a week on a rugby training camp which I survived fine and then the first day I was back home I went for a ride on my bike and came off it. I cut my leg right down to the bone and was in hospital for a week. I couldn't get in the pool for two months.
My first job: I worked in a factory packing those ready microwave meals for Sainsbury's. It was horrible doing 12 hour night shifts.
The last song I downloaded: It was Hotel Room Service by the rapper Pitbull.
The last film I saw: I really enjoyed going to see The Hangover - it was pretty funny.
The last holiday I went on: I had a great holiday in Croatia this summer with my girlfriend. We went to Dubrovnik, it was perfect because the weather was great and it was just towards the end of the tourist season so there weren't loads of people around. There were beautiful islands to explore, I would definitely recommend it.
The last takeaway I ate: I had a really good Chinese the other night. My favourite is Chow Mein.
What would you be doing if you weren't a swimmer: I spent four years studying for a business degree so it would be something financial I guess. Although that's probably not the best area to be in at the moment!
What other sport would I like to compete in: I would love to be a surfer. They get to travel around the world to awesome beaches and tropical islands. They all seem like they enjoy life and have a good attitude.
* British Gas and British Swimming. The nation's leading energy supplier, British Gas, is the Principal Partner of British Swimming, supporting the sport at all levels: 'From paddling pool to podium'. For more information visit www.britishgas.co.uk/swimming