Marren ‘more hungry’ for Rio spot
- Credit: Mikael Buck
Havering youngster enjoys Paralympic Day
Former world champion Amy Marren has insisted that illness and injury has only made her hungrier to gain selection for next year’s Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The 16-year-old missed the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow through illness, but made it to the National Paralympic Day meet at the London Aquatics Centre on Sunday.
But while Marren recovered to swim five events, her results weren’t stellar, her best result seeing her finish third in the SM9-SM10 200m individual medley.
However, Marren is positive ahead of the national championships, hailing her difficult year as a great motivator ahead of next year’s Paralympics.
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“Rio is just over the horizon now, and being ill this year has made me realise how badly I want it,” said Marren.
“It’s going to be hard to turn my form round with only a year to go, but Rio is my main aim, so as long as I can keep my eye on the ball then fingers crossed I’ll be on that team.
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“I’m still nowhere near where I want to be, but I’m further than I was a few months ago, so that’s the main thing to focus on.
“Not everything is going to happen overnight. It’s going to be hard and it’s a work in progress from now on.
“My last race didn’t really go to plan at all, but it was my fifth race of the morning and I’ve only had four weeks of proper fitness, so it is what it is and I’m just thankful to be here.
“It’s a really enjoyable day and it’s more about the atmosphere and getting the technical things right than the overall swim.”
The atmosphere was indeed electric, as the event formed part of National Paralympic Day, an annual event designed to help continue the legacy of the 2012 Games, with elite athletes also taking part at the Olympic Stadium.
At the Aquatics Centre, the event gave Marren the chance to swim at a world-class venue next to Paralympic greats, including Ellie Simmonds on her first return to the pool where she won gold in 2012.
“Ellie was one of the reasons I got into paralympic sport in the first place,” added Marren.
“Before I saw her race, I’d never really heard of disability sport or para-swimming, and now I’ve got loads of friends on the team and it’s great to race with them here so we can all enjoy it together.
“The Aquatic Centre is amazing to swim in, and the fact that we’ve got a sold out crowd in is phenomenal.
“It really does feel like a little piece of London 2012. It’s great to bring those memories back because it reminds you what you’re working for.”
*National Paralympic Day is generously supported by Spirit of 2012. Find out more at paralympics.org.uk/npd2015.