COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Jazz primed for her 'home' Games
JAZZ Carlin is determined to enjoy her ‘home’ Games at Glasgow 2014 after being denied the opportunity to race at London 2012 by illness.
The 23-year-old swimmer has had her tonsils removed since bouts of tonsillitis and glandular fever contributed to her missing the chance to compete in her first Olympics.
“I’m so excited,” freestyle specialist Carlin said. “I’ve been waiting for it for a long time. It was really difficult after London to get back into the sport.
“With Glasgow in the back of my mind I always knew there was that I could train for and work towards.
“In 2012 season it was illness that held me back, going into this season it was great, because I’ve had my tonsils removed and I’ve had a season illness-free and injury free. I’ve been lucky.”
The former Wootton Bassett School pupil, based in Swansea, is ranked number one in the Commonwealth for her favoured events, the 400metres and 800m freestyle.
Four years ago in Delhi she became the first Welsh female swimmer to win two medals in one Games in 80 years and now she is bidding to be the first gold medal-winning Welsh female swimmer in 40 years, since Pat Bevan in 1974.
“I’m just going to go out there, do the best I can,” said Carlin, who started the 200m freestyle in Glasgow today. “I’m really happy with how my season’s gone so far. I’ve put the most work in I ever have in training.
“I’m just hoping that shows when I race and I can come away with a good time. Everyone wants to be on top, that would be the icing on the cake.”
Carlin spent two months training with Bud McAllister in Australia after her coach of seven years left Swansea after it was stripped of its high-performance status in the wake of British Swimming’s disappointing London 2012.
She will assess her future after Glasgow 2014, where, in her third Commonwealth Games, she hopes the crowd will roar on all the ‘home’ swimmers.
She added: “I went in 2006 when I was 15. That was a really special time for me. Delhi, four years ago, coming with two medals was surreal, a really incredible experience. I’m hoping to do one better this time.
“With missing out on London I didn’t get to have a home games. I’m hoping the Scottish crowd will be nice to the Welsh swimmers. It would be great to have the home crowd support. I’ve raced in the venue and it’s incredible.”