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PARALYMPICS: Best is yet to come
DETERMINED Stephanie Millward says that she’s ready to produce her best form at the Paralympic Games when she takes to the pool at London 2012.
The 30-year-old Corsham star was part of the Great Britain team at Beijing 2008 but failed to make the podium in the S9 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 100m butterfly.
Now Millward, who trains at the Wales National Pool High Performance Centre in Swansea, is preparing to give her all in as many as seven races during her home games next month and believes that she is in a much stronger position to challenge for medals than in Beijing four years ago.
“When I went to Beijing, it was just too soon back then and I wasn’t ready for it back then,” said the Wiltshire Paralympian.
“It’s going to be really tough and I don’t know about winning golds but I’ll be going to try and see if I can wins some medals – let’s see what I can do.
“My two main events will be the 100m fly and 100m backstroke, so I’m really hoping to do well in those. Anything else that happens after that will be a bonus.
“I also think that we’ll have a good chance in the relays and I’m really positive about it all.
“Training is still really tough at the moment and all of the swimmers are still doing 50,000 to 60,000 metres a week but, in the next few weeks, we should begin our taper and then we can start concentrating even more on looking forward to the games – we’ll all be able to start dreaming our dreams.”
Millward, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 17, will start her Paralympic campaign on August 30 with the first of her favoured events, the S9 100m butterfly, before the S9 100m backstroke the next day.
Her gruelling games schedule then throws up the freestyle relay, S9 400m freestyle, S9 200m medley before Millward also swims the 100m butterfly leg of the medley relay.
She could still take her total number of races to seven, as she mulls over the possibility of racing in the 100m freestyle.