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Jamieson ready to scale even greater heights

March 3, 2013
Life has changed for Michael Jamieson since the Olympics Photograph: Getty

Life has changed for Michael Jamieson since the Olympics Photograph: Getty

The sky’s the limit for Michael Jamieson so perhaps it’s no surprise to find him 2300 metres above sea level.

The 24-year-old Olympic medal-winning swimmer from Glasgow continues to reach the heights in his chosen sport and knows what it takes to reach peak performance.

“I’m a big believer in altitude training and the positive effect it can have on fitness levels,” he said, after a rigorous regime in the Sierra Nevada.

Jamieson will swap Spain’s mountains for the more down-to-earth surroundings of the John Charles Centre for Sport in Leeds this week for the British Gas International Swimming Meet.

The Yorkshire gathering will be a far cry from the frenzied arena of London’s Aquatics Centre, where Jamieson caused a splash by plundering silver in the 200 metres breaststroke final during last summer’s Games.

However, the Scot is relishing the opportunity to dive back into competitive action.

Jamieson, who also took silver at the World Short Course Championships in Istanbul just before Christmas, has emerged as one of British swimming‘s standard bearers and is not about to rest on his laurels after his Olympic success.

“There’s no doubt that the Games changed my life,” reflected Jamieson, who is building for a serious assault on July’s World Championships in Barcelona. “Only three years ago I was considering quitting the sport because I couldn’t continue to put my parents under the financial pressures of keeping me in the sport.

“Finishing second in London was a huge step for me, the realisation of what was once a pipe dream, but it was still second and the desire to win a title is still there.

“The world of swimming moves on so quickly, so there’s no time to rest on last season. I probably have four years left in the sport and after the journey it took to reach London 2012, I want to continue to challenge for major medals over the next cycle.”

With the Commonwealth Games in his home city looming on the horizon, Jamieson is set to be the poster-boy of the Glasgow showpiece next summer.

The avid Celtic supporter, who was a silver medallist last time around in Delhi in 2010, is keen to use the added expectation as a motivational tool as he goes for gold in his own pool.

“There is definitely added pressure and expectation now,” he admitted. “It is something I’m going to have to deal with, but I welcome it.

“It’s down to me to find a strategy to manage it and to view it as something positive. I don’t think it will ever effect me negatively as no-one can put more pressure on than I do myself. I expect to be winning medals and I will be my harshest critic if that doesn’t materialise.

“I finished second in Delhi so there’s only one acceptable result for me in Glasgow. I’m under no illusions as to how difficult it will be to come away with the result I’m looking for, but that is sport in a nutshell and I’m up for the challenge.”

heraldscotland

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