Golden boy Chris has further glory in his sights

INTO THE UNKNOWN: Chris Walker-Hebborn who will aiming to match his Commonwelath Games glory at the European Championships
INTO THE UNKNOWN: Chris Walker-Hebborn who will aiming to match his Commonwelath Games glory at the European Championships
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Chris Walker-Hebborn is hopeful of matching his 
Commonwealth glory as he steps into the unknown at the European Championships.

Off the back of his major breakthrough in Glasgow, where he clinched gold in the 100m backstroke event before doubling his tally as part of the men’s 4x100m medley team, the Bury St Edmunds-born swimmer will now be aiming to replicate his form as he goes in search of further gold in Berlin.

And although Walker-Hebborn is targeting further success in the German capital, starting Monday, the 24-year-old, who also narrowly missed out on Commonwealth bronze in the 50m backstroke event, finishing fourth, conceded he does not know what to really expect from his performance.

“I’m feeling pretty good but to be honest this is new territory for me in some ways,” he said.

“I think I’m still in form but I’ve never had two major championships this close together, so I don’t really know what will happen.

“It’s hard to know where I’m at because I’ve never had to perform at this level for this long a period.

“It can be a major hit to your body and mind.

“I’m hopeful of finishing in the medals again but really I’m just going to take it as it comes, any more success will be a bonus.”

The Bath-based swimmer is well aware he will be under the glare of onlookers as a result of the newfound stardom following his performances two weeks ago, and despite not fully knowing what to expect of himself, he is hopeful of heading into a scheduled competition break on a high.

“I guess because of my success in Glasgow I will be under pressure from some people but I’m just trying not to think about it,” he added.

“Other than that initial buzz of the Commonwealth success I’ve had no time to celebrate and that has all had to be put to one side.

“I still feel I have to prove myself and for me it is definitely a chance to keep up my consistency from Glasgow and hopefully I can match the success of the Commonwealth Games.

“It is also a chance for me to rectify my disappointment in the 50m backstroke, which I was not happy with.

“Hopefully I can medal again, I’m confident and so I just have to perform again.

“This will be my last major competition before a break and so it would be nice to maintain that good level of performance I’ve had and go out on a high.

“I couldn’t think of anything better.”