Delhi 2010: Tom Haffield (Wales)

openquote.gifHindsight is a wonderful thing, but looking back I probably wouldn’t have gone to Delhi; going into the meet ranked first and the Commonwealth Record Holder at the time and coming out fourth, and then being ill – for me, it wasn’t an experience I particularly enjoyed.

To be frank I found it difficult; I don’t know how other people found it, but it was a tough environment to be in. I remember when I did my post-race interview with Sharron Davies, I told it like it was and there were a few raised eyebrows. But I didn’t see the point sugar coating it; I did genuinely find it quite a difficult place to be.

For example the bus journey, just a simple thing like that from the village to the pool, you’d have to go through security twice; I completely understand the extra precautions were needed, but it just made the journey to the pool much longer than it needed to be and added another layer of discomfort to proceedings.

And then on the day of my 400 IM I got sick which wasn’t ideal. It was just the way things panned out for me; obviously some people still had outstanding swims, and I know some people who were unwell who still had outstanding swims, but it was the last thing I needed on the day of my race.

I can remember just as I was getting ready to go into the call room for the final, desperately trying to find a toilet but none of them were working. I should have been focussing on my race, and yet at that point in time, my main priority was to find a working toilet!

The race was OK but I came out 4th and obviously I would rather have been on the podium; I didn’t miss out by much either, but the main thing I remember about the 400IM was that it was Chad le Clos’ breakout meet – he won gold in the 400 IM by quite a way and then went on to win the 200 fly as well.

But it wasn’t all bad; as a Welsh team we had a lot of fun. I think after the swimming was over we just had to laugh about it and enjoy ourselves. We do have a really good team and we do have a good laugh and it’s really nice to be part of.

I enjoy watching the swimming and I can remember the 200 free where Jazz Carlin did the classic Jazz thing of coming back into it at the end or over the second half of the race – that was great to watch. And obviously two other girls, Jemma Lowe and Georgia Davies, picked up medals so it was a good atmosphere in the team despite everything.closequote.gif