JAY Lelliott smashed his personal best at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow tonight, as the Portland teenager came sixth in the final of the 1500m freestyle.
The 19-year-old, swimming in the outside lane, finished in 15mins 05.83secs – that was six seconds quicker than his previous fastest time which had come in the heats the day before.
Jon Rudd, England’s head swimming coach at the Games, heaped praise on the international debutant, describing Lelliott as “probably the nicest, bounciest, most loveable kid I have ever seen on a British or English team”.
He said: “He is like Tigger at Christmas – jumping around everywhere, loving life.
“He wanted to come and watch all the heats.
“He’s wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, and he was like that all the way through the camp before the Games. He was just thrilled to be part of something.”
Rudd added: “There is a complete wholesomeness about the boy – completely untainted by anything in life.
“He thought that being on the English team was the best thing since sliced bread.”
Canada’s Olympic silver medallist Ryan Cochrane retained his 1500m Commonwealth title with a dominant performance at a raucous Tollcross International Swimming Centre.
Australian Mack Horton claimed silver and Welshman Daniel Jervis stormed through late on to clinch the bronze.