Abbie Wood bags fourth medal of Commonwealth Games after impressive display in 200m medley

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Commonwealth Games - Swimming - Women's 200m Individual Medley - Final - Medal Ceremony - Sandwell Aquatics Centre, Birmingham, Britain - August 1, 2022 Bronze medallist England's Abbie Wood celebrates on the podium during the medal ceremony REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov
Commonwealth Games - Swimming - Women's 200m Individual Medley - Final - Medal Ceremony - Sandwell Aquatics Centre, Birmingham, Britain - August 1, 2022 Bronze medallist England's Abbie Wood celebrates on the podium during the medal ceremony REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

By James Toney in Birmingham

Abbie Wood admits she needs to get used to crowds again after banking her fourth medal at the Commonwealth Games.

The return of fans to sport has been one of the many positive things about these Games in Birmingham, with the Sandwell Aquatic Centre packed to the rafter each night.

But the 23-year-old from Buxton admits the noise takes some getting used too.

She made her breakthrough in an International Swimming League season staged behind closed doors and competed at the Tokyo Olympics last year without fans in the stands, where she finished 11 hundredths off a medal in a lifetime best.

After two relay silvers and one bronze, Wood finished third in the women's 200m medley final, clocking 2:10.68 to finish just behind Australia's Kaylee McKeown and Canadian gold medallist Summer McIntosh.

“I feel such a weight lifted off my shoulders," said Wood, who is one of over 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support.

"After the season I’ve had, I’m really happy with that and it’s a sigh of relief.

“I didn’t feel pressure from anyone intentionally but I had my family here. It has been a good step for my confidence that I can do it without a crowd.

“It’s a season’s best, I couldn’t ask for any more after such a hard cycle post-Olympics. Fourth there hit me so to get it together for this week, I’m really happy.

“It was pretty much go-go-go after the Olympics so I’m definitely having a nice break after this, celebrating with my family.”

There was also medal success for Alfreton swimmer Jacob Whittle, who joined forces with James Guy, Joe Litchfield and Tom Dean to take silver in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay.

The 17-year-old rising star, who earlier finished sixth in the 100m freestyle final, took the second leg as England finished in 7:07.50 behind Australia, who took gold in a new Games record.

“It’s a great team to be a part of. At the start of the year wouldn’t have even believed if somebody had told me I would be part of this team right now at trials,” said Whittle.

“My 200m freestyle wasn’t my best event and it wasn’t the event that I was focusing on so to be able to do it at World Championships, it has given me the opportunity to keep on doing it and to be in a great team like this, it’s just amazing.

“I’m three events down, one to go after this. It’s pretty tough but I always take it day to day anyway. I’ve not done this for a while, since I was 13 or 14, so to get back into doing back-to-back races, getting home and bouncing onto the next one - it’s a good learning experience.

“Hopefully if all goes well that’s what it will be like in Paris. It’s all learning ready for then and that’s definitely the main focus for me, learning as much as I can and building on my experiences.”

National Lottery players raise more than £30million a week for good causes including vital funding into sport – from grassroots to elite. Find out how your numbers make amazing happen at: www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved by using the hashtag: #TNLAthletes.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting