The countdown continues to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and with just under ten months to go, we’re delighted to be working with some fantastic athlete ambassadors who are underlining the role Dell technology will play at the games. I recently sat down with two of our athletes, Sam and Oliver Hynd, to hear about their recent experiences at the Montreal IPC Swimming World Championships in August and to find out how they’ll be preparing for next year’s Glasgow 2014 competition.
Here’s what they had to say:
It’s now been about a month since my last major championships, and looking back over the successes and close finishes at the World Championships, my desire to re-gain a place on top of that podium is as strong as ever.
Having qualified in my main events; the 400m Freestyle and the 200m Individual Medley, I was understandably keen to get to Montreal and get back into world class international racing again. Training preparations had gone very well and I felt that I was in a great place to put in a great performance, especially with London 2012 being still very fresh in my mind.
We arrived to a fantastic hotel and transport setup – and the competition venue was awe inspiring. Holding camp preparations were finalized and everything went like clockwork. We kicked off the meet with a season best in the 200m Individual Medley!
After having a great heat swim, I walked into the call room for the final feeling very confidant and relaxed, and even though I still swam a fantastic time in the final, I was just touched out for a bronze medal! This is one of the first times that this has happened to me during my career so I was absolutely gutted, but I knew that I had my main event, the 400m Freestyle the next day so I kept that in focus.
The next day arrived and I sailed through the heats and stormed a fantastic last leg to clinch the silver medal!
Looking back at recent successes, I’m very much looking forward to getting stuck into 2014 and the thought of the Commonwealth Games is certainly giving me goose bumps. I’m looking forward to working with Team Dell and having the technology at my fingertips to stay in touch with my coach, family and friends and make improvements to my training and performance.
Bring on 2014!
Montreal was the next biggest competition for me after London 2012 and also my first World Championships, so I arrived in Canada a little apprehensive but eager to get on with my training before the start of the competition.
I had qualified for all of my three medal events from London but unfortunately all those races were in the first few days so I knew I had a tough schedule in store.
The first day of competition was the S8 100 Backstroke where I clocked a personal best and set a new British record.
I was placed 3rd going into the final but knew I needed a fast swim to reach the podium. The finals went well and I did indeed reach the podium taking bronze (my first World medal) and again setting a new record time.
The second day of the championships saw me compete in the 200 Medley race. I won gold in this race at London 2012 so I was swimming as both the Paralympic and European Champion and eager to come out as World Champion. After doing well in my heat swim, I was going into the final in first position although I was prepared to compete against some extremely fast swimmers – including my brother!
The final was fast but I stuck to my race plan and came out with that gold medal I so wanted and in a new European Record time; a little tainted by the fact my brother missed out on a podium place by a whisker!
My 3rd day of solid racing was tough – I was in recovery from my previous two races and was competing in the 400 freestyle – a tough race by its nature. Also having missed out on gold in London by less than a second in this race, I felt I had some unfinished business! The race itself was tough but I managed to convert my silver from London to that all important gold. This final was a real family affair as my brother touched out the Chinese swimmer to take fantastic silver – ''Team Hynd'' on the podium!
It’s now all about the journey to Glasgow 2014 and after an exhausting six races, over three days, I’m ready to put in a solid block of tough winter training in the pool and gym. As an ambassador for Team Dell, I’m going to be making the most of the technology I have available to me and working with my coach to look at data on my stroke performance and swimming style; all with the view of bringing back even more medals from next year’s games!
For more information, visit www.dell.co.uk/glasgow2014