THE countdown to Glasgow 2014 is getting ever nearer for Portland’s Jay Lelliott, as he prepares for his 1,500m freestyle heat in the Commonwealth Games on Monday.
The former Tornadoes of South Dorset youngster is just days away from representing his country in heat two of the competition, scheduled to take place at the Tollcross Swimming Centre (11.57am).
Lelliott, who remarkably underwent two operations for a recurrent brain tumour at the ages of 12 and 13, is tipped to have a strong chance of making the final, set to be held on Tuesday evening.
The 19-year-old’s qualifying time of 15 mins 12.70 is the third best in his heat line-up behind England team-mate Daniel Fogg and Australia’s Mack Horton.
On his preparations, the youngster told Echosport: “It’s going incredibly well, I’m still hitting good times and I am surprising myself even more now.”
As part of his training leading up to the event, Lelliott has been working with both the English and Welsh squads at the London Aquatics Centre, based in the Olympic Park. And the Portland youngster believes the sessions have been a huge help in his preparations for the Games.
“We had individual training groups and my training group was really good,” he added.
“We helped each other out and rallied each other to get through the end of a session to try and push through it, which, for me, was really good I think.
“Every day that I do, I feel more confident in the pool and being with the guys there, it all started to feel real.”
When he is not working in the water, the 19-year-old is also studying for a degree in sports performance at Bath University, and believes the knowledge he has obtained from his course has helped him greatly with his training.
In preparation for the event, he has tapered down his schedule to be fresh and in good condition.
He added: “Doing the course has actually really helped my understanding about what I do in the pool, and if anything, it has really helped my improvement because I can understand what I’m doing more. To know I am doing the right thing gives me confidence.
“I was doing 65 to 70 hours a week in the pool, now I’m down to about 45.
“You need a bit of time to let your body recover, it’s all about adapting and feeling good for the start of the Games.
“The last couple of weeks have been phenomenal so I am really looking forward to it.”