Updated: Thursday, 19th October 2017 @ 12:34pm

With 2016 'dead and buried', Bury swimmer James Guy targets Hungary worlds gold

With 2016 'dead and buried', Bury swimmer James Guy targets Hungary worlds gold

| By Phil Jones

Defending his 200m freestyle title is top of the agenda for swimmer James Guy as he prepares for next month’s World Championships in Hungary.

The 21-year-old won double gold at the World Championships two years ago, adding the 4x200m freestyle relay title to his individual accolade.

Two Olympic silver medals followed at Rio 2016, but only in the relays as he finished just out of the medals in the 200m freestyle, while he only managed sixth in the 400m event.

Now though, with four more national titles to his name in 2017 and having posted a series of impressive performances during the spring, Guy is confident ahead of the main event in Budapest, next month.

“Obviously I want to do as well as I can, and better than in the Olympics. I mean I am the current world champion in the 200m free so obviously I’m trying to win that event again,” he said.

“But it will be tough with Sun Yang and a couple of the Aussies there, and Chad le Clos who is a good friend of mine, so it’s going to be interesting.

“It’s a new season and that last year is dead and buried. I’m in a good place, I’m training really well, I’m happy and the way I’ve been going racing-wise, this season, means I can do a good job this summer, hopefully.”

After enjoying perfect preparation so far this year, Guy’s plans for the World Championships were thrown into chaos earlier this month when an overbooked easyJet flight meant he missed the first day of a crucial warm-up event in Monaco.

That setback did not seem to hamper him, however, as he arrived for the second day of competition and won both the 200m freestyle and 100m butterfly – beating six-time Olympic medallist Laszlo Cseh in the process – in the same day.

“To beat Laszlo is quite nice, considering the day we had before, with my head all over the place, missing the flight,” he added.

“I wasn’t really in the meet. The meet felt very, very packed, only on one day, but to do the 100m fly and the free so close together, was great.

“I didn’t manage to swim down or loosen off, so to do that was pretty good and to beat Laszlo, who has been a big name for quite a while now, is quite nice.”

While the World Championships are the main focus for swimmers this year, 2018 will see their summer peak come for the European Championships.

And for the first time ever, a new multi-sport event will combine the existing European Championships for aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon, along with a new golf team championships, between August 2 and 12, in Glasgow – with the 2018 European Athletics Championships being held in Berlin from August 7-12.

More than 3,000 of the continent’s finest athletes will descend on the Scottish city over 11 days of action for the biggest sporting event in the country since the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games– and Guy can’t wait for the action to unfold.

“Glasgow’s a great place, it was my first Commonwealth Games there and I’ve had numerous trials there. The pool is fast and it’s our target meet for that summer,” he concluded.

“I want to be on song for it, I’ll be 22, young and fit and ready to go and racing as fast as I can.

“It’s going to be interesting being more of a European games, the first one of them, it’s something new, it’s exciting and I’m looking forward to it.

“Having other sports around definitely adds to the feel and my memories from an event. The village environment is definitely a lot bigger than a normal meet.”

Tickets for the Glasgow 2018 European Championships – an exciting new multi-sport event bringing together some of the continent’s leading sports – are now on sale at www.glasgow2018.com/tickets starting at £10 for adults and £5 for under-16s and over-60s.

Image courtesy of Gillette World Sport via YouTube, with thanks.