Steph’s ready for gold-en moment

Stephanie Slater
Stephanie Slater
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Preston swimmer Stephanie Slater is confident of securing a Commonwealth Games medal when she competes in the water on Friday.

The 24-year-old athlete with a disability goes in the S8 100m freestyle competition at the Tollcross Swimming Centre in Glasgow.

Slater – who was on course to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games as an able bodied athlete before she was struck down by a condition which affects her left arm – is one of the favourites to win gold in her event.

Her main rival is Australia’s Maddison Elliott, who is the reigning world champion and won a gold, a silver and two bronze medals at the Paralympics two years ago despite being only 13-years-old.

Slater told the Evening Post: “I feel very confident and excited about what lies ahead.

“I am really looking forward to racing. The pool at Tollcross looks amazing.

“I am so proud to be representing England.

“I would really like to make it on to that podium so I can wear my England tracksuit with pride.”

Slater believes she will have a major advantage on Friday as a large number of English supporters are expected to make the short journey north of the border

“With how successful London was and the legacy it has left, hopefully we will have lots of English supporters as it’s not too far to travel,” she said.

“Having them behind you definitely makes you swim faster!

“My mum and dad and my old swimming coach Steve Heaps are going to be there cheering me on too so that will give me extra incentive plus. I will be hoping to make all my supporters back home proud too.

“My preparations have gone really well and feeling fit and strong. We had our holding camp in London which was amazing being with Team England.

Slater, pictured right, plans on enjoying as much of the Commonwealth Games as she can, although she will not be staying too long in Glasgow as she has to prepare for the European Championships in Eindhoven, Holland, almost immediately.

“I want to soak up the atmosphere as much as possible to gain as much as I can from the experience at a major games,” she added.

“But I probably won’t get to watch any other sports as I leave early for the Europeans. I have to remain focused on my race of course.”