‘I want to break the world record”: Teenage swimmer from Northampton sets his sights on the future

The 18-year-old says his world record goal is achievable as he has “many years left in the sport”

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 30th June 2022, 11:52 am

A teenage swimmer from Northampton is excited to “pile on the pressure in the pool” as part of the Team England Futures programme.

Harvey Freeman who swims for Northampton Swimming Club is closing the gap between himself and Team England inspiration James Wilby.

The 18-year-old breaststroker has admitted that, although he is continually inspired by those around him, he is ready to make himself the new competition.

Harvey Freeman, a young Northampton swimmer, has set his sights on the future.

He said: "It's really good and it does encourage you but at the same time they are a competitor.

"I'm at an age where now I'm slowly starting to transition into the senior league so now they're the opposition.

"There's so much respect for them and what they've done and now I'm trying to beat them and do what they do.

"When you're at something where you've got James Wilby and Greg Butler and really good 200 breaststrokers, I'm just going in there to swim as fast as I can and if I come out with a medal that's amazing.

"Wilby is really inspirational and to look to him because he's currently the quickest in the country. He probably inspires me the most."

Freeman had his first taste at major success at last summer's European Junior Championships in Rome.

Freeman finished sixth in his preferred 200m breaststroke event and qualified for the semi-finals of the 100m as well, but now, he has his sights firmly set on the future, and making history.

"I want to break the world record in the 200m breaststroke," added Freeman, who has been selected to be part of the Team England Futures programme with Commonwealth Games England and SportsAid.

"It is definitely achievable, I've got many years left in the sport, I've got more than six before I even reached my peak and it's going well.”

Freeman has an immediate chance to lay down a marker at his second European Junior Championships in Bucharest next week.

While he will call on his championship experience, one of his main memories from last year's competition has a little less to do with the water.

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He said: "In some aspects, I wasn't happy with the performances. They were still PBs but they just weren't big enough.

"But at the same, I have aimed to peak at one event not expecting to go again in summer so I was tapered in a different way to this year where my peak's hopefully in a couple of weeks' time.

"It was a big team spirit because the football Euros were on at the same time and on the last day we had the Euro final in Italy.

"We all watched it in one room in the hotel on TV, it was a very fun and good atmosphere.

"In my stroke, I would physically tense up so the performance wouldn't be as good. So keeping relaxed how I have been recently is how I want to keep it."

Commonwealth Games England has appointed SportsAid to lead on the development, management and operational delivery of Team England Futures at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Find out more about the programme by visiting: https://www.sportsaid.org.uk/partnerships/team-england-futures/.