It promises to be a busy summer for swimmer Martyn Walton with both the European Games and World Junior Championships taking place, although the teenager insists it’s all good experience ahead of stepping up to senior level.
Walton is part of a 24-strong swimming squad in Baku for the European Games, which also double up as the European Swimming Junior Championships.
The action has already got underway at the Baku Aquatics Centre with 17-year-old Walton bidding for a medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay final later today.
He will then make his first individual appearance on Wednesday in the 100m freestyle and 200m individual medley heats before also going in the 200m freestyle and 400m individual medley heats later in the week.
It means a hectic few days for Walton but the Stevenage swimmer, who won 4x100m freestyle gold at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing last year, insists he wouldn’t have it any other way.
This year represents his last on the junior circuit and with the World Junior Championships also taking place in Singapore in August, Walton intends to take full advantage.
“Baku is a big occasion and a great experience for me. I hope I can step up and perform when it matters,” said Walton, who is part of a select group of young swimmers on the Tokyo 2020 project, which aims to try and enhance their medal prospects at the Olympics in Japan.
“I’ve got the World Junior Championships in August too so that’s two international meets quite close together.
"I want to gain as much experience as possible as it’s all building towards making that step up to the seniors.
“I like to swim a lot of events, I find it’s better to be busy. I think we have a strong chance in the relay.
“I can take a lot from Nanjing. It was good to see how all the systems work and what it takes to put it all together in a big competition.
“Rio might be a bit too soon for me but Tokyo 2020 is firmly on my radar.”
© Sportsbeat 2015