Buxton teen Abbie Wood impresses at first Games

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com - 05/04/2018 - Commonwealth Games - Swimming - Optus Aquatics Centre, Gold Coast, Australia - Abbie Wood of England in action during the Women's 400m Individual Medley heats.
Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com - 05/04/2018 - Commonwealth Games - Swimming - Optus Aquatics Centre, Gold Coast, Australia - Abbie Wood of England in action during the Women's 400m Individual Medley heats.

Buxton swimmer Abbie Wood reached the final in each of her events at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The 19-year-old finished sixth in the Women’s 400m Individual Medley and seventh in the Women’s 200m Individual Medley.

Wood - competing at her first Commonwealth Games - saw Team England compatriots go on to take gold in both distances.

Having qualified eighth fastest in the heats for the 400m IM final, Wood was out in lane eight for Thursday’s showdown.

She clocked a time of 4:40.45 in what proved to be an exciting race won by Aimee Willmott (4:34.90), who edged out Scotland’s double Commonwealth champion Hannah Miley.

Days later a determined Wood qualified sixth fastest for the 200m IM final, ahead of team-mate Willmott, in 2:12.85.

The teenager was unable to kick on for the final, finishing in a time of 2:13.72, with Siobhan Marie O’Connor (2:09.80) taking gold on this occasion.

Wood had said in the run up she wanted to enjoy the experience of the ‘friendly Games’ on Australia’s Gold Coast. And had hopes of finding the form which led her to 400m IM gold and 200m IM bronze medals at the 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.

For Wood, who trains at the National Centre in Loughborough, competing on the Gold Coast was the result of a four-year dream to get to the Commonwealth Games.

“I have wanted to go to a Commonwealth Games since 2014 when I realised it was swimming I could do,” she had said. “There’s a bit of rivalry but it’s nice. It’s nice to give more people the opportunity to swim as there are more teams you can make.

“People say it’s the friendly games and you want to be a part of it as it’s such a nice competition to be in.”