SWIMMING: Jazz turns the page on her pool career
JAZZ Carlin hopes to make an impact on international swimming again after rediscovering her love of the sport.
The former Wootton Bassett School pupil returns to competitive long-course swimming in Leeds next week, opening a new chapter in her career after the disappointments of 2012.
Two-time Commonwealth Games medallist Carlin, 22, saw her bid to make the British team for the London 2012 Olympics ruined as glandular fever and tonsillitis combined to eat into her preparations last year, testing her mental strength and the tenacity that earned her the nickname Pitbull.
But the Swansea-based swimmer returns to action at the British Gas International Meet, starting next Thursday, determined to write a new chapter in her career.
“I haven’t raced long-course for nine months, but it’s something I’m definitely excited to be doing again,’’ she told the Gazette & Herald.
“I’m in good shape – I don’t think I’ve ever been able to do some of the sets that I am doing now.
“It was a tough year last year. It’s never easy when you’ve wanted to do something like go to the Olympics, especially a home Games.
“It was especially hard to watch, but I’ve got a great family, friends and boyfriend (fellow swimmer Lewis Coleman) supporting me.
“I’ve found my love for the sport again. I always swam because I love racing and I’m really excited to race again and just want to enjoy it.’’
With those troublesome tonsils now removed, Carlin hopes to thrust herself forward as an heiress to the retired Rebecca Adlington’s title of British distance swimming queen.
She will tackle the 400, 800 and 1500m in Leeds next week, taking the first steps along the road to a third Commonwealth Games appearance in Glasgow next year and, longer-term, the Rio Olympics of 2016.
“It (having the tonsils out) has made a difference because I’m not battling illness all the time and I hope that’s going to help me in the future,’’ she added.
“This year the trials for the world championships are in June so this event is an opportunity to get some racing in, and there will be some international swimmers coming in to race.
“Training has been geared towards longer events. I haven’t raced a 1500m for six or seven years. If that goes well, I’ll see about managing all three.
“With Becky (Adlington) retiring, those distance events are wide open.’’
- Jazz Carlin is a member of the British Gas GBR Swimming Team. This spring British Gas is launching SwimBritain, a campaign to create a healthier nation and get more people swimming regularly by 2015. Visit facebook.com/BGSwimming