Litchfield hungry to make up for lost time

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Max Litchfield is looking to make up for lost time in Birmingham.
Max Litchfield is looking to make up for lost time in Birmingham.

Sheffield swimmer Max Litchfield has extra desire to succeed at this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham after missing out on the event four years ago.

Litchfield's career has featured its fair share of frustrating near misses as he finished fourth in the 200m medley at both Rio and Tokyo Olympics.

He was well-placed for medal success heading to the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018 before a shoulder injury struck.

All that adversity means Litchfield is a coiled spring when it comes to the chance to shine in home waters this summer.

“That was tough for me," he said. "I struggled to watch some of the races from home, because I was hoping I would get back for that but couldn’t quite make it. It was tough to watch, just to be sat in Loughborough watching on from afar.

“I’m buzzing for the summer to be honest. I’ve not done a Commies since my first senior meet in 2014 - it doesn’t feel like it’s been eight years. I’m so excited to be part of Team England again and just looking forward to getting there and racing again.”

Litchfield is one of more than 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.

The 27-year-old believes such preparation will make the difference in the summer.

He said: “The next few months are just about getting back into a good training rhythm.

This is the first proper training block we’ve had. I’m just really enjoying being in the water and to get some good work under my belt again.

“We’ve got a clean run through trials until the summer. I’m just excited to see what the rest of the year will bring.”

The Games will be the biggest event held in England since the 2012 Olympics.

This summer, Team England, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, will comprise over 400 athletes.

Having secured his place on the squad, Litchfield is looking to capitalise on the once in a lifetime opportunity for medal success in his home country.

The prospect of being cheered on in the pool by a raucous home crowd is something Litchfield can't wait to experience.

He said: “That’s something that’s going to be absolutely amazing. I guess in Glasgow you had potentially some English people there watching, but it’s going to be so different in Birmingham.

“To have a home Games is so special. Obviously I had hopes of making it to London 2012 but I think that was a far-fetched goal at that point in my career.

“To finally say I can have a home Games is fantastic and hopefully I can put on a show for everyone and so can the rest of the team because we’ve got a pretty awesome team this year. It’s going to be special for sure.”

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.

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