Chris is confident of booking his place at Commonwealth Games

QUIETLY CONFIDENT: Chris Walker-Hebborn remains almost certain of securing his place in the England team at this summer's Commonwealth Games
QUIETLY CONFIDENT: Chris Walker-Hebborn remains almost certain of securing his place in the England team at this summer's Commonwealth Games
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Chris Walker-Hebborn is 
sure of his Commonwealth Games place after a golden display at the British Gas Swimming Championships.

Ahead of this summer’s Championships the Bury St Edmunds-born ace enjoyed successive victories over two-time world champion Liam Tancock in Glasgow, pipping him to the 50m and 100m backstroke titles.

His first victory came in the longer distance, clocking a time of 53.82 seconds before beating his personal best in the shorter discipline with a time of 25.09.

The success came with a tinge of disappointment as the 24-year-old failed to meet the automatic Commonwealth qualification times, but Walker-Hebborn is almost certain he has done enough to merit a return to Scotland in July.

“It was a bit of a flat meet overall for myself to be honest but I made the best of a bad situation and I’m pretty certain I’ve done enough to make the Commonwealth Games,” he said. “The qualification times set this year were stricter than the Olympics, which seems overly tough.

“England should have a team of around 36 swimmers and I think only around 10 have made the qualification time.

“The selectors will look at things like medal potential, times at championships and recent performances and so I’m 95 per cent sure I’ll be going.

“However, nothing has been confirmed yet, so I will just have to wait and see.

If the selection process focuses on current performances then Walker-Hebborn has done himself no harm in catching the eye since 
making the switch to shorter sprint disciplines earlier this year.

And, having found his form, the Suffolk swimmer — who is based in Bath — is already dreaming of impressing for the nation this summer as well as one final shot at Olympic glory.

“It was brilliant for me to get two wins as I’m still relatively new to the sprint events,” he added. “To get to another Commonwealth Games would be brilliant and I’m just hopeful I am selected.

“I came fourth last time out which was a bit of a kick in the teeth so I’m desperate to improve on that.

“I’m in a really good place at the moment and I’ve enjoyed a mint run in with some strong performances ahead of the championships.

“I’m really enjoying my swimming again.

“It has been a different direction for me but it has been great and I’m sure good things will happen.

“I’m just taking each 
year as it comes at the moment, but ideally I would to retire after the Rio Olympics in 2016.

“My ultimate target is still to appear at another Olympic Games and challenge for a medal.”