Like most athletes the Olympic Games are the dream for young swimmer Georgia Coates but she says that she can’t get ahead of herself as she prepares to make her European Games bow.
Today will see the first of five days of swimming competition in Baku with Coates set to go in the 100m freestyle and 400m individual medley.
It’s been a strong season for Coates so far with some stellar performances from the 16-year-old at the British Swimming Championships in April.
Coates went head-to-head with the likes of Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and Hannah Miley and placed fourth in the 200m medley senior final as well as second in the 200m junior breaststroke.
It is performances like those that make Coates one of Team GB’s bright prospects but she insists her focus is on the present and fast times in Azerbaijan.
“To medal here would be amazing; the 200m individual medley is the big hope for me this week,” she said.
“We’re up against some tough competitors; this is only my third big international event so I’m new to it all so I’m a bit nervous.
“I’ve done all the training and I'm full prepared but you still get nerves as you want to do yourself proud. I’m learning all the time from everyone around me. I’m also learning about myself, how I cope in this environment and how I can get better.
“The dream of course is the Olympics but I try not to get carried away. Competing for Team GB here is a very proud moment, my dad and brother are flying over, they just tell me to enjoy the experience and try my best which is what I’m going to do.”
In total, 24 young British swimmers have made the trip to the Games – with the event also doubling as this year’s European Junior Championships.
Today will see the vast majority take to the pool with 20 swimmers going across 11 events and team leader Tim Jones believes the experience of being at a multi-sport Games could prove vital for the rising stars.
“This is a great event for us and the team. It’s our European Junior Championships as well, which have been lifted lock, stock and barrel and put into the Games here,” said Jones.
“We tend to do well at the Junior Europeans and often are in the top three medal winning nations but in the bigger picture this is very much part of a longer journey for the athletes to be part of a World Championship team or hopefully an Olympic team in the future. Tokyo 2020 is big goal for this age group.
“The exposure to a multi-sport and athlete village environment is truly invaluable, so performance is important but the overall experience is a bigger win for us.”
Fencing will also commence on Ton Day 11 with Corinna Lawrence in action in the women’s individual epee and James Honeybone going for the men in the individual sabre.
And there will be more boxing action as Sandy Ryan looks to book her spot in the semi-final when she takes on Elena Vystropova at light welterweight and Josh Kelly locks horns with Ireland’s Adam Nolan.
Team GB at Baku 2015: Day 11 Schedule
Event: Women’s light welterweight (60-64kg) quarter final – Sandy Ryan v Elena Vystropova (AZE) 15:15 BST
Event: Men’s welterweight (69kg) quarter final – Josh Kelly v Adam Nolan (IRL) 17:00 BST
Where to watch: Live on BT Sport 1 from 08:25 BST, continued at 13:55 and live online at www.Baku2015.com
Event: Women’s individual Epee pool round – Corinna Lawrence 05:00 BST
Event: Men’s individual sabre pool round – James Honeybone 07:50 BST
Where to watch: Live on BT Sport 2 from 04:55 and live online at www.Baku2015.com
Event: Women’s 50m breaststroke 05:30 BST – Emma Cain, Layla Black
Event: Men’s 50m butterfly 05:38 BST – Luke Greenbank, Thomas Fannon
Event: Women’s 100m freestyle 05:51 BST – Hannah Featherstone, Georgia Coates, Darcy Deakin, Madeleine Crompton
Event: Men’s 400m freestyle 06:06 BST – Tom Derbyshire, Cameron Kurle, Kyle Chisholm
Event: Women’s 200m butterfly 06:34 BST – Laura Stephens, Amelia Clynes, Holly Hibbott
Event: Men’s 100m backstroke 06:56 BST – Joe Litchfield, Luke Greenbank, Joe Hulme
Event: Women’s 400m individual medley 06:59 BST – Abbie Wood, Georgia Coates
Event: Men’s 200m breastroke 07:20 BST – Charlie Attwood, Luke Davies
Event: Women’s 200m backstroke 07:35 BST – Rebecca Sherwin
Event: Men’s 4x100m freestyle relay 07:51 BST
Event: Women’s 4x100m freestyle relay 08:14 BST
Where to watch: Live on BT Sport 1 from 05:25, on ESPN from 13:25 and live online at www.Baku2015.com