Swimmer Stephanie Proud gears up for Shanghai World Championships

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STEPHANIE Proud immediately has turned her attentions to Shanghai after the curtain came down on her British Gas National Championships.

Proud enjoyed an unforgettable week in Manchester as she upstaged world 100m backstroke champion and European gold medallist Lizzie Simmonds to claim the 200m backstroke title and book her ticket to this summer’s World Championships.

The Chester-le-Street flyer, who is at college in Florida, returned to the pool the following morning to take part in the 400m individual medley but it proved one race too many as she could only finish ninth quickest from the heats and missed out on a place in the final.

But after finally booking her place to a major championship, Proud revealed she was already thinking about her trip to the Far East prior to her final swim,

“It was a really busy week. Winning the 200m backstroke was amazing and I was just so happy and so I think I might have just not been that focused in the medley,” said Proud, who clocked a time of 4:58.00.

“Friday’s event was the big aim for the week and just making the team for Shanghai is a big weight off my shoulders. I am so happy with that.”

But while Proud is fully focused on the Worlds this summer, she revealed she also has one eye on the London Olympics, which is just 500 days away.

“500 days to go is obviously in the back of my mind but I am just keen to make sure this summer goes well before I look to far ahead,” she added.

“I think everybody is looking around and seeing how much talent we have and it is exciting.”

H The nation’s leading energy supplier British Gas is the principal partner of British Swimming, and is supporting the sport at all levels, from grass roots to our elite athletes. Visit www.britishgas.co.uk/swimming.