Katy Sexton definitely arrived on the senior international circuit with a bang four years ago in Kuala Lumpur. Despite European Junior Silver and a finals place at the 97 European Championships, few outside of the swimming world would have heard of her. That all changed with a superb late surge in the Commonwealth 200m backstroke final which took Katy form third to gold in quite literally the last 2 inches of the race. A regular on the GB national team since, Katy will again be representing England at this summer’s Commonwealth games, which seemed like a good place to start.
You’re on the team again for the Commonwealth Games, what are you hoping to do in Manchester?
A repeat of 4 years ago would be nice, I’d like to defend successfully – I’m swimming the 200 again this time round, so I’ll just have to get in there and do what I can.
You were quite young when you won that gold in Kuala Lumpur, how did you deal with such a great achievement?
I don’t really know how I dealt with it, I was just sort of bumbled along in the dark in my own little world, as I was so surprised at what had actually happened. I mean I was really pleased that I’d made it to the final so anything more than that was just a bonus
So you weren’t expecting to get anything from that race necessarily?
No, not at all – it was such a shock to get the gold
Were you happy with the way you swam at the trials?
Yes, as I’ve had a shoulder injury since September so my aim was just to get fit for the trials, which was touch and go to start with, so I was pleased with the way I swam and to qualify for the team.
When you were injured how did you keep yourself motivated?
It was very frustrating. All I could do was kick and I had some good days but about every 10 days or so I’d really go downhill. So I had to speak to Chris (Nesbit) about it and I we decided that if I felt like that, I should just step out of the pool and get away from swimming for a couple of days – sort of out of sight, out of mind
I understand you’ve had a couple of training camps at the new 50m pool at Aldershot – was it good to get some long course work in?
It was good to get some more long course metres in at home – I’d been in Australia for 5 weeks before hand which was tougher training, but it was a good week anyway and it’s a good training pool. It’s just a shame that it’s the nearest 50m pool to us, which is a bit of a joke.
How much influence has Bill Sweetenham had on you since he took over?
Things have changed a lot – there’s a lot more co-operation between him and coaches and swimmers. Everything seems to be working together a bit better and it just seems a lot more positive and professional than it has done sometimes in the past
Does he work closely with your coach?
Not really that I know about, but he comes round all of the lottery funded swimmers every couple of months just to see what we’re up to and we have camps like this one as well where he has some input to our programmes
Does he check your log books?
Do you always fill it in…
When I remember to!
What are your favourite training sets?
I like the hard stuff, race pace and lactate tolerance – I find them hard but I like the challenge and the sense of achievement at the end of a hard set
…and the worst?
Definitely aerobic work, because its so boring just slogging up and down.
Finally what are your favourite drills?
I like backstroke drills generally. No drill in particular, I just like to float along and work on my technique.