PORTLAND’S Jay Lelliott promised that his sensational sixth place in the Commonwealth Games 1500m freestyle final was “just the beginning”.
But the 19-year-old added that although he was “happy” with his performance in his first international final, he believes he could have swum faster.
Lelliott said his first taste of the swimming big-time in Glasgow has whetted his appetite for more.
“I am really motivated now,” he said. “This year has been far from perfect but I intend to do so much better next year. This is just the beginning. I’m going to come back even stronger.”
Lelliott said he was “annoyed” with himself over the way he swam the final in Glasgow.
“I’m happy with the time but it could have been better,” he said.
“I was hoping to go faster and I’m sure I could have if I had swum it correctly. I made some rookie errors and I also miscounted the lengths.
“For the past few months I have been trying to nail my stroke techniques – working on a smooth and long stroke.
“In the heat I felt I was putting in too much effort so in the final I went back to my old technique.
“And with 100m to go I thought there was another 200 or 300m so it was a shock when the whistle went signalling the last two lengths.
“At the end I was so frustrated because I still felt fresh. I’m sure I could have gone quicker.”
Despite the “rookie errors”, Lelliott finished eight seconds ahead of England number one Dan Fogg, an Olympic finalist in this event in London, and recorded a Dorset record time of 15:05.83, which ranks him 16th in the world.
The Bath University student will have a chance to improve again when he makes his European Championships debut in Berlin next month. Before that, he will travel to Sheffield for the National Youth Championships.
“I’m looking forward to the Europeans,” said Lelliott.
“I’m not saying I’m going to swim quicker because I plan to swim through the national championships.
“I’m going to work harder in training and see what I can do.”