TILLY Gray feels that her surprise chance to compete in the 100m butterfly at the Commonwealth Games fits in perfectly with her rigorous preparation for the meeting in Glasgow.
Originally selected by England to take part solely in the 200m fly, Swindon girl Gray was yesterday informed that she would be swimming in the shorter distance following a withdrawal, much to the former Swindon Dolphin’s delight.
At the end of a long and intense training period, Gray is confident that far from being disruptive, the opportunity to take on top-class opposition in the pool tomorrow will benefit her push for a possible medal in the 200m next week.
She said: “Looking at my taper plan, we’d actually put in a stand-up 100m swim. So we were going to have a 100m race simulation on the day of racing anyway. It’s worked out perfectly fine and fitted in with everything else.
“There are going to be no changes to it. I’ve had a few really good sessions where I’ve been quite speedy so I’ve been saying to my coach that I’m ready now. It’s almost as if I have tapered one week too early but having this swim where it is is perfect.
“I’ll have the race simulation, working my body hard as well. If you taper too long you can almost get unfit and to have a race in there will help maintain race sharpness. It’s all looking pretty good.
“It’s some of the best news I could get. It’s definitely an honour to have both events on my schedule. I’m really excited.”
Gray will take part in the 200m fly heats at the Tollcross Swimming Centre tomorrow from 12.08pm, with the semi-finals scheduled for 8.39pm. Should she reach the final, Gray would be in action again on Friday evening, but she is targeting a semi-final spot.
“The exciting thing about the 100m is there’s heats, semis and finals.
“I think I’ve got a good shot at making the semi, it’ll be great experience and a chance to blow away any cobwebs,” she said.
“I usually go into meets having both events and it was one of my worries that the 200m was going to be all or nothing, so it’s going to be nice to get stuck into the 100m and get the chance to prepare in the normal way I would do for the 200m.”
DEVIZES JUDOKA TOM REED AND CHIPPENHAM MIDDLE-DISTANCE ACE DAVID BISHOP LOOK FORWARD TO THEIR COMMONWEALTH GAMES EXPERIENCE IN TOMORROW'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FOLLOW THE PROGRESS OF ALL THE WILTSHIRE COMPETITORS AT GAZETTEANDHERALD.CO.UK/SPORT DURING THE COURSE OF THE GAMES