Updated: Wednesday, 20th November 2019 @ 11:34am

Rio all the way! Manchester Metropolitan University gold medallist Chris Steeples sets his eyes on Olympic prize

Rio all the way! Manchester Metropolitan University gold medallist Chris Steeples sets his eyes on Olympic prize

| By Chris Bailey

Manchester student Chris Steeples is focused on this summer’s Commonwealth Games following his British Universities and Colleges Sports (BUCS) Gatorade Nationals triumph in Sheffield last week.

Representing Manchester Metropolitan University in the 100m breaststroke, Steeples powered his way to the gold medal with a time of 1:02.10 in the Pond’s Forge pool.

Having brushed aside the competition at university level, the 21-year-old hopes to secure a place at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro with a standout performance in this year’s Commonwealth Games.

“I raced some tough guys but I knew I could do it,” he said. “I've raced all of these tough guys before so in know them well.”

“Ultimately it's Rio and the Worlds but the Commonwealths are a great stepping stone onto them.

“I've got a good chance, I'm ranked 2nd in the country so I don’t see why I won’t be there.”

Although the business management student could not better the BUCS record time of 59.36 seconds he set in the same event in December, he still relished being put through his paces.

 “I won the 100 last year and got the record for it so it's a good competition for me and one that I really enjoy,” he said.

“It's more of a relaxed meet here where you can concentrate on getting things right without pressure but you still get to race against the big boys.”

Steeples is now relying on staying fit in the hope of being able to get himself into the Glasgow games, which begin in July.

 “Training is going well, I've got no injuries or anything like that,” he said. “I'm just sticking to the plan and that's all I can do.”

University of Manchester student Rebecca Guy is another rising star aiming for Commonwealths success this year after blasting to 50m freestyle gold and 100m freestyle silver.

But the philosophy and Spanish student insists she has no intention of letting the pressure get to her as both the Games and her final exams draw nearer.

“I just love the 50m and it was one length just to focus on it,” said the 21-year-old. “It was a big PB so six weeks out of trials I’m pretty pleased, I’m not rested or anything.”

“I’m in my final year of uni so juggling the two is hard, but if I had to choose between the Commonwealths and a first, I’d choose the swimming.

“I just want to enjoy this year – I don’t want to think about anything else other than swimming fast otherwise I’ll stress out.”

Gatorade is the exclusive nutrition and hydration partner to British Universities & Colleges Sports and headline sponsor of the BUCS Gatorade Nationals. BUCS and Gatorade work together to educate student athletes on the importance of sports nutrition and hydration – visit: www.bucs.org.uk/gatorade

Picture courtesy of gmayster01 via Flickr, with thanks