Buxton swim star Abbie Wood secures Tokyo Olympics place
Buxton’s Abbie Wood has been selected to represent Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics.
The 22-year-old put herself firmly in the frame at the recent Olympic trials held in London, where she swam well inside the times required for consideration in both the 200m individual medley and 200m breaststroke.
And on Tuesday, Wood was confirmed as one of the Team GB squad that will head to Japan for the Games, which were initially postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Loughborough University student, who represented Team England in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, is now excited by the prospect of competing in her first Olympics.
She said: “It’s fantastic to have been selected. After getting the consideration times in London I was confident I had a good chance but it was great to get the e-mail confirming it.
"I’ve had a really good year and having swum inside the consideration times already in Manchester in February it put pressure on myself to make sure I did it again when it really mattered in the trials.”
For Wood, the postponement of the Games worked in her favour, giving her an extra year to prepare and work towards being such a strong contender.
She said: “It can work both ways and for some it may not have helped at all, but I think had the Games been last year as planned I’d only have had an outside chance. So it’s been a blessing to have had the extra time.”
As for her prospects in Japan, Wood, who is now preparing for the European Championships in Budapest next month, is pleased to have two events in which to compete.
She added: “I prefer the breaststroke, mainly because I feel less pressure given the medley is actually my stronger event. But to have two is good because it’ll mean I’m not pinning all my hopes on just one day.
"My goal is to out there and be competitive. I don’t want to set a firm target like getting to a final or a medal, I just want to enjoy it as you never know what can happen.”
The Games take place from July 23 until August 8, with the swimming events from July 24 until August 1. Wood will travel to Japan for a two-week training camp prior to the Games beginning.