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World champs ultimate goal for Matt Stanley

March 17, 2013
Matt Stanley

Matt Stanley

This time last year Matt Stanley rewrote swimming’s books, breaking both Danyon Loader‘s 200m and 400m national freestyle records.

But rather than repeating the records when this year’s national championships start in Auckland today, a more experienced Stanley is this time looking to reach boiling point with a slower burn.

Doubling as a qualification event for July’s world championships in Barcelona – Stanley’s real goal this year – the next week of racing offers the 21-year-old a chance to develop a confidence- building end to last season, after falling short of his best on Olympic debut in London.

Opting to continue racing throughout the end of 2012, Stanley said it’s a decision which paid off after claiming a 400m win at the World Cup in Beijing and an encouraging fourth at the short course world championships.

“It’s always nice to win, it’s been really good for confidence,” Stanley said.

“It’s worked out really well, I had a really good end to the season and it was a shame I didn’t get a medal at the world championships, I was really close.”

He said it was more like a track race. “But it was good to be part of a race like that, tactically, I know what I would do next time.

“I think it was important not to take too much time off after the Olympics. I took three weeks off to refresh my mind and not lose too much fitness or feel for the water.

“I wanted to get back into it and did quite a bit of racing before Christmas and New Year. I did three World Cup stages and world short course as well.

“More than anything, that was to keep the competitive juices flowing.

“I want to go fast at nationals, but my times won’t be everything. I want to make sure I qualify for next year’s world championships and get my process right.”

He said: “I’m definitely a lot more experienced now. Just having an Olympics under your belt and knowing what swimming at the top level is about, you feel a lot more mature.”

Fairfax NZ News

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