Buxton swimmer set for World Championships

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Abbie Wood is set for the global stage after she wowed national selectors with a new English age group record at the British Swimming Championships.

The 18-year-old from Buxton came third in the final of the 400m individual medley at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge in a time of four minutes and 37.25 seconds - 0.4 seconds faster than Emily Large’s record set last December.

Wood also finished second in the 200m individual medley and fifth in the 200m breaststroke, which prompted her inclusion in to the Great Britain squad to compete at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest in July.

Proud mum Julie said: “It’s a really good achievement for her to be selected for the world championships. It’s a big senior team where a lot of the Olympians have been chosen so she’ll be there with the best around.

“Abbie’s only just turned 18 and is breaking into seniors from juniors. Sometimes it can be a really hard transition but she’s doing really well. We were really chuffed that she got selected for this one.”

The call up - Wood’s third in the senior set-up - has seen her take part in a national training camp in Thailand this week before competition begins in Tokyo at the Japan Open as the squad prepares for the world championships.

And her mum believes the experience will serve her well in her ultimate target of competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

“We weren’t aware she’d got the British record until we received a certificate through the post,” said Julie. “She’s the fastest person in her age group and that can only bode well.”

Wood has been named on British Swimming’s world class podium potential programme for Tokyo which makes her eligible for advanced training camps, competitions and sports science support among others benefits.

“Her next step is to be selected for the Commonwealth Games which is in April in Australia and her ultimate goal is Tokyo 2020 Olympics,” said Julie. “She’s very driven and focused and she really likes racing. She comes into her own when she’s racing.”

- The Wood family would also like to thank their long standing local sponsors Selden Research for their ongoing support.