James Wilby eyeing up quick return to Commonwealth podium

·2 min read
James Wilby eyeing up quick return to Commonwealth podium

James Wilby is looking for a quick visit back to the podium at the Commonwealth Games.

The morning after the night before, when Wilby ended Olympic champion Adam Peaty's eight-year unbeaten streak to win 100m breaststroke gold, he was back in the pool for the 50m heats.

This time Peaty finished ahead of him but Wilby's time of 27.85 seconds was good enough to advance him as the fifth best qualifier.

“It’s going to be a tough final, as the distance gets shorter it gets a bit more challenging for me," said Wilby, who is one of over 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support.

"Similar to the heats and semis in the 100, it’s just about getting through the rounds. It’s job done and hopefully I’ll challenge for medals in the final.

“These competition schedules are very difficult, particularly when you’re in multiple sessions back-to-back. but it’s about maximising recovery.

“I was lucky to get the bronze in this event on the Gold Coast so it would be amazing to challenge for medals again.”

Wilby admitted he was still pitching himself after her heroics at the Sandwell Aquatic Centre the previous evening.

However, he insists keeping emotions in check is a key part of his new approach.

“It’s all part of it, It’s still not quite sunk in yet, I’m just trying to stay focused in game mode," he added.

"Every now and then I see a photo or message, I’ve had a lot of really nice messages, and that will make me smile but I have to remember the races still to come.”

Australia's Sam Williamson looks the one to beat in the final while South Africa's Michael Hollie and Scotland's Craig Benson also posted eye-catching times in qualifying.

Peaty though was not impressed by the long holds on the starting block - urging officials to either change their approach or 'change their starter.

Wilby added: “There are some long starts but everyone’s in the same pot. It would be nice if it was slightly shorter but I’m sure in the final they’ll have listened to some feedback.”

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