Swimmer Steph eyeing medal

Stephanie Slater in the pool
Stephanie Slater in the pool
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Preston’s Stephanie Slater is gunning for glory at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The 23-year-old para-swimmer was named in the England squad last week and will be targeting a medal in the S8 100m Freestyle event.

Slater said: “ I feel very privileged to have been selected to represent England in what will be my first Commonwealth Games.

“I am very excited and my aim is to enjoy every minute from the holding camp in London to the games themselves in Glasgow.

“Hopefully, I will claim a spot on the podium.”

Slater is particularly looking forward to competing in front of a home crowd, especially after she missed out on the London Olympics.

The Preston Swimming Club member was on course to compete at the 2012 Games as an able- bodied athlete until she was struck down by a mystery injury to her left arm. She was eventually diagnosed with nerve damage to her brachial plexus.

The condition looked to have ended her career in the pool but she has battled back from adversity and is now carving out a career as a para-swimmer.

She said: “To qualify for the Commonwealth Games is a massive achievement and I’m very proud of myself after everything I have been through.

“For the games to be on home soil is even more exciting especially after seeing how successful the 2012 Games were in London. Having a home crowd behind you definitely gives you that extra boost, so I can’t wait.”

Slater will head to the Commonwealth Games this summer as one of the favourites.

She is the current world record holder in the 100m butterfly after posting a time 1.09.67 in the Para International meeting in Glasgow earlier this year.

“I had a very successful championships, securing five European Championship selection times. I was very happy with my performances and to break the world record on the last day was the icing on the cake,” she said.

After the Commonwealth Games, Slater will be heading to the IPC European Championships, in Eindhoven, Holland, in August.

She trains in Manchester under the guidance of coaches Rob Greenwood and Graeme Smith. The 23-year-old will also be heading off to Cyprus this summer for a bout of warm-weather training.