JAY Lelliott will line up alongside some of the world’s best swimmers tonight after reaching the final of the 1500m freestyle at the Commonwealth Games.
The 19-year-old Portlander made it through yesterday’s heats with a new personal best time – but it was a close-run thing.
Lelliott finished fourth in the second of three heats at the Tollcross International Swim-ming Centre in Glasgow, coming home in 15mins 11.89secs.
And after a nervous wait, Lelliott was confirmed as the eighth and final qualifier for the final, scheduled for just after 8.20pm tonight.
Canada’s reigning Common-wealth champion and Olympic silver medallist Ryan Cochrane is expected to be the favourite for gold.
Lelliott’s dad, Steve, is in Scotland watching his son and he feels the teenager could have more to give.
“It was a nail-biting wait to see if Jay had made the final,” he admitted.
“He is pleased to have got through and I think he has got a little bit more in the tank.
“He set a new personal best but he was a bit disappointed with his time, so hopefully he can knock a few more seconds off again.
“There is no pressure on him now and you never know what will happen in a final.”
He added: “He hasn’t really told anyone what he is expecting to achieve so we don’t really know how he is feeling in himself.
“Jay’s number one priority was to qualify for the final and now that he has done that he can go onwards and upwards from here.”
Lelliott’s England team-mate Dan Fogg also made the final after finishing third in the same heat.