Manchester swimmer Chloe Golding wants to use her underdog status to her advantage at this month’s Commonwealth Games.
The 18-year-old backstroke specialist will be competing for Team England in the 200m backstroke and 4x100m medley on the Gold Coast.
She is hoping to emulate the form that won her gold at the English Championships last year.
“I’ve always wanted to represent England since I was really young,” she explained.
“In the last few years I thought, ‘Hang on, I could actually do this!’
“It’s really exciting to be representing my home nation at my first major Games, so I’m really, really proud.”
She and the rest of Team England are training at a preparation camp in Brisbane ahead of the April 4-15 Games.
The Australian sunshine is a far cry from the Manchester climate she is used to, but her family are flying out to give her a taste of home throughout the Games.
“Training is made easier in the sunshine, so I feel in really good form, hopefully ready to swim fast,” she said.
“The venue looks amazing – an outdoor pool and lots of spectators, so hopefully under pressure I can perform well.
“I think it’s going to be a great experience, but obviously I want to perform at the same time.
“The support has been really good – my family supported me from when I was very young, I’m currently up in Manchester and the staff there are great and all my friends have been really supportive.
“On social media, the comments have been really good so far so I am really excited.”
Should Golding surprise everyone and finish on the podium, it will be fellow Team England athlete Jazmin Sawyers’ voice that she hears through the speakers.
The long jumper has reworked the home nation’s anthem Jerusalem with Britain’s Got Talent winner Tokio Myers in time for the Games.
“We did part of the music video at the kitting out day, which was quite a laugh because none of us can sing very well!” she said.
“It would be amazing to be on the podium representing your country.
“I would be so proud of myself.”
npower is the Official Partner of Team England and is giving our athletes the power of support by recording a brand new version of their anthem, Jerusalem. To listen to the track visit npower.com/teamengland