SWIMMER Jay Lelliott has expressed his excitement in preparation for the Commonwealth Games, with a month to go until he takes to the pool in Glasgow for the 1,500m freestyle.
The Portland youngster qualified for the Games by claiming a silver medal at the British Championships earlier this year, a competition staged at the same venue as the upcoming Commonwealths.
As a reward, the former Tornadoes of South Dorset member will take to the big stage, and building up to the event, quite simply, he cannot wait.
“I’m not massively nervous yet, I’m just massively excited,” the 19-year-old told Echosport.
“I had my kitting out the other day and it was just awesome. We had a couple of pictures taken and got all the England kit at that meeting, it looks amazing.
“It was at that moment where I realised what I had achieved and now I’m just really excited that I am going to be there soon.”
While preparing for the Games, Lelliott is also undertaking a Sports Performance degree at Bath University, and with help from swimming coach Mark Skimming the athlete believes that although preparations are gruelling they could not be any better.
“It’s all going really well at the moment,” he added. “I am hitting some solid times and I’m actually starting to surprise myself.
“Normally, I get up at half five and I am not really a morning person, so that is pretty tough for me.
“My coach and I have a really good relationship and we talk about all the sets I can do to challenge myself, and what we can do to see where I am and what I can achieve in the pool.”
And in producing some strong swims in preparation, Lelliott admits he has a time that he would like to achieve in Glasgow, but refuses to think about grabbing a medal.
“I am going there with aspirations of doing the best I can and I have a time in mind which I am thinking about at the moment.
“If that gets me a medal then great, if it doesn’t and I still hit the time then I will still be happy.
“There will be huge butterflies when I step out and I can guarantee that, but it’s the excitement.”
Lelliott knows he will have a collection of fans from Dorset who will make the trip to see him compete in Glasgow, and he took time to show his gratitude for their support in advance.
“It’s an incredible feeling,” he added. “The support I got up in Glasgow in the British Championships was overwhelming and I loved every minute of it.
“I know that I will have quite a support base from home when I go up there and a lot of the kids will be chanting my name.
“I just want to put on a good show for them.”