The GB team are making their way to Glasgow for the IPC Swimming World Championships (13 – 19 July) with the team including four-time Paralympic Champ Ellie Simmonds.
“The World Championships always has top class fields with top class athletes. I expect there will be some great racing and great rivalries.” - Ellie Simmonds
Tom Hamer – going for gold
As Britain’s number one 200m freestyle Paralympic swimmer for the S14 class, the 16-year-old is confident he has the speed to land gold in Glasgow, returning to Tollcross having set a PB, won a British title and a Commonwealth silver at the home venue.
“We did a time trial out in Cyprus and I beat the time that I did in the training camp before the trials when I broke my personal best, so I’m in a good place heading into the World Championships."
"I’m really excited about what this all means for the Paralympics in Rio now. I just want it to be here now. I don’t want to wait.”
Charlotte Henshaw - back to fitness
A leg infection led to doctors advising her to withdraw from last year's European Championships, but now back on track for Rio 2016 Henshaw is fully fit and ready to do her best.
"I used to feel like winning medals was the biggest point of racing, but I’ve come to realise that my love for the sport comes with swimming as fast as I possibly can – that’ll be my goal at the worlds. It’s all a stepping stone to Rio."
Andrew Mullen - sky-high confidence
With the Tollcross pool just 20 minutes from home, Mullen will return to the pool he learnt to swim in having missed out on appearing at last summer’s Commonwealth Games, with his S5 disability class not included in the line-up.
With his self-belief growing and personal best times dropping, he said "with confidence you build momentum, so I’m just hoping to keep it going in my performances at Worlds."
Alice Tai – success no fluke
The 15-year-old is aiming to prove last year’s European successes were no fluke. On her major international debut she claimed 400m free bronze, 100m back silver and 4x100m freestyle relay gold.
“I want to show people at the worlds that I am improving all the time and that I will be one to watch then Rio comes along.”
Read Alice's blog from last year when one of her goals was to make the Worlds team!
Claire Cashmore – time to impress
Having medalled at every major championship she has taken part in, Cashmore did not disappoint the home crowd at London 2012. Securing two silver medals and one bronze took her overall Paralympic tally to six.
“I was disappointed last year to miss out on the Commonwealths,” said Cashmore. “So when the World Champs were announced in Glasgow, I realised that chance would be coming around again in my career. My biggest aim at the competition is to get a lifetime best on the big stage under all the pressure.”
James Crisp – medal number 20
The 32-year-old has been competing at the highest level for the past 18 years, winning at least one medal in each of his five previous World Championships, and heading into his sixth worlds is hoping to bring his IPC Swimming World Championships medal tally to twenty.
“You can’t put yourself through the training you do for anything less than gold really. You have to aim for the top – that’s what you’re going for. “All the focus is Rio and next year when we can see it on the horizon, it is going to be great.”
Hannah Russell – bigger picture
The 18-year-old has earned European and world gold medals in the S12 100m backstroke event over the last two years, as well as securing three gongs at London 2012, but she is much more interested in the bigger picture than just clinching titles.
“It is all stepping stones looking towards Rio next year, so I would love to go and get personal bests in Glasgow,” the teenager said. “I genuinely can’t wait for it. I remember in one of my main races at the Paralympics, in the last 50m the crowd was rising and cheering me home, and it really does help.”
If you fancy cheering the team on from poolside, get your tickets here.