WILTSHIRE swim star Stephanie Millward is looking forward to finding out just how far she’s come in the last eight months when she hits the pool at next week’s IPC European Swimming Championships in Eindhoven.
The 32-year-old, who previously trained at Swansea’s high performance centre, made the switch to the Bath-based Aquae Sulis club in the wake of the London 2012 Games, where she got her hands on five medals, and has been under the tutelage of coach John Dougall since December last year.
Millward also scooped stunning five-medal hauls at last year’s IPC World Championships in Montreal and the last Europeans in Berlin, in 2011.
The Box ace will be competing in five individual S9 events (100m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 100m backstroke, 100m butterfly and 200m individual medley) and two relays (4x100m freestyle and 4x100m medley relay) in the Netherlands next week, and Millward is prepared for all outcomes as she grapples with her first major competition since linking up with coach Dougall.
“I joined Aquae Sulis just after the Paralympics and after starting with Martin Mosey, John Dougall eventually became my coach when things changed around,” she said.
“I’m really excited to see what’s going to happen in Eindhoven because everything is a wonderful work in progress for me right now.
“John’s got a lot of different ideas about some of my strokes and we’ll have to see how much the changes take off my times; or maybe they’ll add time on? I’m just looking forward to seeing what happens.”
Despite being ready to go with the flow as Millward continues her preparations for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio, the Wiltshire star is still targeting another weighty medal haul at next week’s Europeans, which get under way on Monday.
After winning three medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Dehli, Millward failed to make it to Glasgow 2014 but remains philosophical about missing out.
She said: “The Europeans are my first big competition since I changed coaches and I’d love to go there and win medals in all my events – that would be fantastic.
“It is a bit of a shame to not be at the Commonwealth Games but it was my turn in Dehli and I enjoyed it. I think that it’s someone else’s turn now.”
Fellow Wiltshire swimmer Craig Harris is also set to be in action in Eindhoven, with the Corsham ASC youngster hitting the pool in the S14 200m individual medley.
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