“I had never been good at short course, finding my skills let me down and finding it hard to get my lanky body round the walls quickly!”

The words of Freya Anderson who seems to have learnt to deal with those walls!

The 18-year-old Sky Sports Scholar was on fire in Scotland at the start of December for the European Short course Championships………..

“I hopped on a train for Glasgow not knowing what to expect at this Short Course event held in a 25m pool instead of a 50m Olympic-sized pool. The meet was over four days involving Europe’s best swimmers.

Leading up to the competition I was swimming okay, not feeling amazing in the water and I wasn’t doing amazing times but I just tried to keep calm and hope the training block from September to December would pay off.

I had the first day off so I was able to watch the finals that night. It was amazing and got me really excited to start racing myself. On day two I had the 100m freestyle.

In the heats I swam a little personal best which surprised me and it placed me first going into the semis that evening.

Freya Anderson on her golden ambitions in 2020

Freya Anderson on her golden ambitions in 2020

I was nervous being the fastest but I tried to keep calm. I managed to swim another small PB and got under 52 seconds for the first time.

This placed me first into the finals the following day! I had never been the fastest in all three rounds so the final to me was pretty daunting.

I was excited to get out and race though. I struggled to sleep that night from the caffeine I have to take but somehow I managed!

I had my raceplan in my head and stuck to it. Knowing that everyone else would be out fast, I had to keep my cool and be somewhere in the mix to give me a chance.

I went out with ‘easy speed’ and when I turned I knew I had a job to do. When I touched the wall and looked up and saw I had won I was so shocked and relieved! I never thought I would have won.

At the last European Short Course Championships I had to sit out and watch because of my back Injury so to be getting medals now was crazy!

View this post on Instagram

First race of the season this weekend😊🥰🤞🏼

A post shared by Freya Anderson (@freyaanderson_) on Nov 14, 2019 at 1:35pm PST

On hardly any sleep, the next day I had the 200m. I was probably more excited for this leading into the meet than any other race. I made it through the heats in fourth place and had the final that evening.

I did the same and stuck to my race plan of holding back until my final 50. I think I turned in sixth with 50m to go and somehow managed to win! I was so shocked.

I was really happy though because I could see my parents in the crowd! On the same night, we had a 4×50 mixed free relay where we won silver.

On the last day, I had the 50m free and 400m free – neither event is my strong point. In the 50 I qualified for semis, but decided to pull out to focus on my 400 in which I qualified for the final suprisingly!