Chris Walker-Hebborn is keen to capitalise on his crowning moment after finally living up to expectations with double Commonwealth Games glory.
The Bury-St Edmunds-born swimmer is basking in the glow of newfound stardom after 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.
And for the 24-year-old, who also narrowly missed out on bronze in the 50m backstroke event, finishing fourth, the relief of finally fulfilling his potential has given him fresh optimism about achieving future success.
“It is about time I did something on the big stage,” he said. “I’ve always known I was capable but I’ve never been able to do it on the day.
“I think the key has been consistency and the fact I’ve had no injuries in my preparation. Everything has gone right and I wouldn’t have done anything different.
“The moment up on the podium all comes and goes so quickly. It was difficult to take it all in but thankfully my dad was there and for once he was able to go away seeing me win.
“I suppose for me these competitions were make-or-break. Thankfully I’ve proved my worth and I can now focus on the next chapter of my career.
“I’ve come away with two gold medals and that is amazing.
“I always have self doubt but now my confidence is beginning to outweigh that because I have now performed when it mattered.
“It is nice to have a positive outlook on things for a change, I’m absolutely buzzing still and it hasn’t really sunk in.
“Hopefully this is just the start of many titles, I don’t feel like I’ve reached my potential yet.”
However, any celebrations will have to be short lived as the Bath-based athlete goes straight back into training ahead of the European Championships in Berlin, Germany in two weeks’ time.
But with his confidence at an all-time high, Walker-Hebborn is targeting further success, not only in the German capital, but also at the Rio de Janiero 2016 Olympic Games.
“I have to keep getting on with things and prepare for the European Championships next,” he added.
“Hopefully I can replicate my form, I’m leaving here on a high buzz and I want to maintain that.
“I was obviously a little bit down about the 50m result but for me the 100m is what will define my career as a swimmer.
“That is what will count because it is the Olympic distance and that will be my target in Rio in 2016.
“I think I could have a huge medal chance and hopefully I can get there to prove it.”
Away from his own success it also proved a special Games for Walker-Hebborn as he watched girlfriend Siobhan-Marie O’Connor win an outstanding six medals.
They have been dubbed the golden couple of swimming and Walker-Hebborn took the opportunity to hail the impact of his other half.
“She has helped me get to where I am today,” he said. “She has had an immense impact because she is the one who keeps me going.
“It is lovely to share this moment and to spend it with her was special.”