In train­ing with ma­jor op­po­si­tion

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - By IAN AN­DER­SON

Matt Stan­ley is back­ing his preCom­mon­wealth Games pro­gramme to help him match his Aus­tralian train­ing part­ners in Glas­gow.

The Mata­mata freestyler has spent a cou­ple of months across the Tas­man pre­par­ing for the Games that start next week, where he will con­test the 200 and 400 me­tres freestyle and 4x200m freestyle re­lay.

‘‘I’ve been do­ing the work with Aus­tralia’s best, so that gives me a lot of con­fi­dence,’’ Stan­ley said.

‘‘I was train­ing with some of the best guys in the Com­mon­wealth, that I’m go­ing to be com­pet­ing against, and with the Olympic and world cham­pion Sung Yang from China. It was re­ally bru­tal over the last month or so, and I’m start­ing to freshen up now and I’m re­ally ex­cited to race.’’

Un­der the gaze of coach De­nis Cot­terell, Stan­ley has also been do­ing more rac­ing than usual and im­pressed at the French Open ear­lier this month when win­ning bronze in the 200m and 400m fi­nals.

‘‘I was pretty happy with that – it was off quite a long flight just two or three days ear­lier.

‘‘So to get up and have a good hit-out – and the times were solid in-sea­son times.

‘‘My main goal for the in-sea­son meets – two in Aus­tralia, the Ocea­nias in NZ, and the French Open – was to get bet­ter each meet and I achieved that. So hope­fully that’s a good sign that I can keep build­ing and swim faster again in Glas­gow.’’

The 22-year-old now wants to find his best form at the Games.

‘‘It’s re­ally hard to con­trol what your com­peti­tors are go­ing to do, so I’ve just got to do my best on the day and re­ally com­pete with the top guys in my events and not give them an inch, be re­ally tough,

a

lot and see where that gets me.

‘‘ The Aus­tralians are his­tor­i­cally re­ally good at the mid­dledis­tance freestyle events and will send a re­ally strong team this year. In the 400m this year it’ll be David McKeon, Mack Hor­ton and Jordan Har­ri­son; in the 200m, Cameron McEvoy, Thomas Fraser-Holmes and McKeon.’’

Stan­ley, who has been train­ing along­side Har­ri­son and FraserHolmes, still has plans to com­pete at the 2016 Rio Olympics too.

‘‘But if you want to do well in Rio, you have to keep im­prov­ing be­cause the rest of the world is,’’ he said.

‘‘If I want to be up there in 2016, I’m go­ing to have to im­prove faster than any­one else. It is part of the big­ger scene, but the fo­cus of the next two weeks is go­ing as fast as I can in Glas­gow.’’

Mata­mata can also claim sev­eral other ath­letes who are com­pet­ing in Glas­gow as part of the Com­mon­wealth Games. Casey Kopua is part of the Sil­ver Ferns squad, Tim Mikkel­son is in the sev­ens squad and Kylie Lind­say is in the squash team. Keep an eye on the Chron­i­cle’s Face­book page to see how they are all get­ting on.

– Waikato Times

Photo: SUP­PLIED

IN AC­TION: Mata­mata’s Matt Stan­ley in ac­tion.

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