JAZZ Carlin admitted the success of her Welsh teammates may have had something to do with her impressive swim in the 800m freestyle heats as she set a new Commonwealth Games record to qualify for tonight’s final.
The 23-year-old had been poolside on Saturday to watch Georgia Davies win silver in the women’s 100m backstroke, adding to bronze medals from Calum Jarvis and Jack Thomas.
And when it was her turn to entertain the Welsh support, Carlin produced a dominant display in heat three, touching home in 8:22.69 minutes to break Tracey Wickham’s Games record set back in 1978.
After the race Carlin admitted she had even held a little back with today’s final in mind and is confident there is still more to come as she looks to add a first swimming gold to Wales’ tally.
“It was a really great time to set in the morning as I wanted to come in and have a good swim,” said Carlin.
“After having two days off and watching everyone do really well from Team Wales in the pool, I really wanted to have a strong swim but I also wanted to save something.
“I felt really good when I got in the water – I started off strongly and then got into a rhythm. I felt like I was by myself but when I’m in the final that will really push me along.
“This year I’ve really been focusing on the 800m and the 400m freestyle and shifted my training to the distance work.
“I was surprised to get my best time in the 200m but it really was just to get me into the meet as my main events were towards the end of the week. I’m really excited for the next couple of days now.”
Carlin is no stranger to the Commonwealth podium – four years ago in Delhi she delivered a silver medal from the 200m freestyle and won bronze over double the distance in the 400m.
But she insists today’s 800m final will be a different race altogether with her rivals more than certain to swim a lot stronger.
“I know I can recover by the final so it’s just about getting in a strong time. I could see what the girls were doing in the heat before and they had a great swim,” she added.
“I am a racer and I tend to swim with a stronger back end to my race so I do think when I’ve got people up with me it does help. It brings the best out of you when you’re racing people.
“I’m competitive and love a race. I’m really excited but I will have different tactics for the final and there will be a lot more people trying to push for a faster time.”