European junior medallist Amelia Maughan, 18, writes exclusively for AquaZone
Hey! I’m Amelia Maughan from the British Gas Bath ITC squad. My team-mates include Michael Jamieson who won silver in the 200m breast at the Olympics and Lizzie Simmonds who was fourth in the 200m back.
I watched as much of the Olympics as I could, although we were away some of the time. When Michael won his medal, I was at home with my family and we were all screaming at the TV. I was so happy for him. I knew he could do it but I wasn’t sure he would.
I would love to have been at the Olympics. I reached the 100m freestyle final at the British trials in March and came seventh, which wasn’t quite good enough to make the 4x100m freestyle squad. My team-mate Siobhan O’Connor is only six months older than me and she did really well to qualify for London in the 100m breaststroke at the second attempt after missing out in her main event, the 200m IM. That also meant she got to swim in the medley relay heat and final. It was hard for me to see her going off to the Games. Other people would say, ‘Siobhan is at the Olympics. Why aren’t you?’ It was hard. But at the same time I knew she had earned the right to be there and I was really happy for her.
For me, the highlights of 2012 were the European Junior Champs in Antwerp and the National Youth Champs at Ponds Forge. Antwerp was my second European juniors and I really enjoyed it. The people were really nice and I also think I swam better than I did the previous year. I was also pleased to win a couple of medals – bronze in the 100m freestyle and silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay. But I also got food poisoning and had to pull out of the medley relay, which I was gutted about. That was upsetting.
Every national championship is amazing but I particularly loved the National Youth Championships this year because I swam well and got what I went for – times that were close to my PBs, gold medals in the 15-16yrs 100m and 200m freestyle and silver in the 50m free. I also swam at the Olympic trials and I loved the Olympic pool. It’s a deep pool and the whole atmosphere was different.
It was also GCSE year for me and I was quite pleased with my results. Two As, two Bs and four Cs was better than I thought it would be. I’m blonde, you see, so I have an excuse! Ha ha! It’s difficult juggling training and schoolwork but I have a lot of help from school and swimming.
I’m now studying PE, Psychology and French at A level. I wish I could do Danish, as my mum is Danish and I can read and understand it. I have no idea what I will do after that. I am so disorganised it’s unreal. I don’t know what subject I want to do at university or where I want to do it!
End of summer break
After the summer break there was a nice atmosphere to come back to. A lot of people were happy to be back in Bath and ready to start training again. Jess Dickons has retired since the Olympic trials but we have three new people – Jonny Carlisle, Aflie Howes and Lizzie Simmonds. I hadn’t spoken to Lizzie a great deal before, although I did know her, as we have been on a couple of GB teams together. Now we are training in the same group and we’re very chatty. She is very nice. We talk about swimming and how school is going. She also brings up the spirit. If everyone is a bit down, she will try to pick up the mood. It’s definitely good to have someone in the group who is so high up in the sport and to see how they train and to learn stuff from them.
The big events in 2013 are the World Championships in Barcelona and the World Junior Championships in Casablanca, and ideally I would like to do both, maybe the relay team for Barcelona and individual events in Casablanca. So fingers crossed.
Longer term, I definitely have my sights set on the next Olympics. Rio 2016 is my goal.