London 2012 pool brings the best out of me, says Derbyshire’s Abbie Wood

Buxton swimmer Abbie Wood.
Buxton swimmer Abbie Wood.

Abbie Wood can already boast a victory in the London Aquatics Centre pool, but the Derbyshire swimmer admits next month’s trip to the capital is all about gaining experience.

It was back in 2012, before the world’s best swimmers descended on the capital for the Olympic Games, Wood stormed to 200m breaststroke gold at the UK School Games.

And since then the 16-year-old has gone from strength to strength, representing Team GB the following year at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Utrecht and winning two gold and two silver medals.

Last year the Derventio Excel starlet saw at the European Junior Championships and proved her domestic dominance with three medals at the ASA National Youth Championships in August.

Wood returns to where it all started next month for the British Swimming Championships, but the teenager is happy to take a back seat as she goes up against the best this country has to offer.

“I am really pleased with where I am at the moment and this year has been going really well in training as I was out in American with the British squad,” she said.

“So heading into the British Championships I am looking to make some finals, post some PBs and hopefully make a few British teams for later in the year.

“In the last couple of years I have been lucky enough to go to a European Youth Festival and then the European Juniors and I really want to do it again.

“The British Championships are a great opportunity to see where I am against the senior girls and learn from them and move forward.

“We have some great 400m IM swimmers in this country and they are up there with some of the best in the world so any time I go up against them it is a boost for me.”

But Wood, from Buxton, admits that the London Aquatics Centre not only holds some happy memories, but also brings the best out of her too.

“I am really happy that I get another chance to swim in the London 2012 pool again,” Wood added. “I was 11 when I first competed there and I won the 200m breaststroke at the UK School Games.

“There was a great crowd there and once half was full so it was so loud and that really spurs me on.

“I am sure there will be the same again for the British Championships and I am hoping it will be another good venue for me.”

Support the country’s best swimmers from 14-18 April at London Aquatics Centre. Buy your tickets now http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/feature/british-swimming