SWIMMING: Christmas is no break for Swindon's Carlin

This Is Wiltshire: Swindon swimmer Jazz Carlin Swindon swimmer Jazz Carlin

MANY of us will stuff ourselves to bursting tomorrow before flopping bloated on the sofa, but for Jazz Carlin the reality is somewhat different.

The Swindon freestyle star, one of British Swimming’s leading hopes for medal glory at next year’s Commonwealth Games, might allow herself a treat or two but she'll still be clocking up the miles in the pool over the festive period.

The fact the 23-year-old will be back at home and a considerable distance away from her regular training base in Swansea makes little difference as the former Swindon Tigershark will simply head to the pool where she made her early splashes as a youngster.

“I think I’ll have quite a few days at home and it will be nice to have some time with the family, and I’ll just be training locally down at the Link Centre,” said Carlin.

“I always train through Christmas and even on Christmas Day I’ll be going for a run and doing some gym stuff, so there will be no rest really.

“But that’s what athletes do, we want to be the best so we’ve got to do everything right.”

Carlin has had a busy December having tackled the European Short Course Championships and Duel in the Pool in quick succession, a schedule which left her no time to shop for gifts, giving her no choice but to sort it all out months in advance.

“I’ve had to be super-organised with presents and I think I had wrapped 90 per cent of them at the end of November,” she said.

“When I was at altitude in Sierra Nevada in mid-October to the start of November I was online ordering presents and sending them home, which gave me something to do while we were up there.

“I managed to get quite a lot done so there was very little left.”

While Carlin may have just missed out on a medal at the major competition of 2013 having finished fourth in the 400m free at the World Championships, she views the last 12 months as a positive time.

Having had her hopes of qualifying for the London Olympics wrecked by illness, the former Wootton Bassett School pupil aimed to bring a smile back to her face and she feels she achieved that.

“This year was about building me back up after the disappointment of 2012, which was a really tough year, and I just wanted to enjoy swimming and racing again,” she said.

“From that perspective, it’s been great because I did that. Obviously I really wanted to be on the podium at the World Championships and to miss out by so little was heartbreaking.

“But that’s alright because I’ve got more motivation for next year and Glasgow is a big target for me and that’s where all the work is going towards.

“I’ve already qualified so that relieves the stress of qualification, meaning I can just train through the year and my sole focus is just on the Commonwealth Games, which I think can only be a positive.

“I’m in a lot better shape now than I was at this time last year and it’s just about building and getting faster in training.”

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