Chris Walker-Hebborn is out to make a splash at the World Championships this year after surprising himself with a blistering qualification time.
The Bury St Edmunds swimmer sealed his automatic qualification for the championships in Kazan, Russia in August, after a devastating display at the British Swimming Championships.
The 24-year-old double Commonwealth champion returned to the London Aquatics Centre, the scene of a disappointing 2012 Olympic Games, and left victorious by winning the 100m backstroke category, beating long-term rival Liam Tancock in the final, touching home in an impressive 52.88 seconds.
And having surprised himself with his winning performance, Walker-Hebborn is now determined to go even faster as he targets a best ever display at the World Championships.
“I surprised myself with the time,” he admitted. “I’m over the moon and it puts me in good stead for the summer.
“I knew I was capable of swimming somewhere close to that time but it was a little unexpected to do it at this stage of the season.
“It is a big relief to get automatic qualification because in the past I have been stressed out waiting to be selected.
“I’m always nervous racing Liam but it is always great to come out on top against one of your main rivals; it gives you that added confidence.
“I think I can go quicker, there is more there and I’m still improving. I also have that enjoyment back and I’m feeling really good right now.
“The plan is to go to the worlds, perform well and build the confidence even more. Swimming a 52.88 in April is more than I could have asked, but I know I can go faster. I don’t like talking about medals but if I can reach the final it would be my most successful worlds and then once there who knows, it is all to play for.”