KIDDERMINSTER’S Paralympic swimming star Claire Cashmore describes the past month as the worst of her life as her time at university comes to a close and can’t wait for a stress-free summer in comparison – starting now.
The 22-year-old has been in good form in the pool so far this year, scooping double bronze at the British Championships in March and gold at the British International Championships just weeks later.
Those results were been good enough to earn a stab at the European Championships in Berlin in July.
That will come as a welcome relief to Cashmore, a three-time Paralympic bronze medallist, with her degree in linguistics at the University of Leeds rapidly coming to a head.
She opted out of March’s German Open to concentrate on finishing her dissertation and, after breathing a huge sigh of relief at doing so, she is relishing turning her attentions back to the pool.
“I am so glad I didn’t go to the German Open and decided to hand in my dissertation instead because it was so stressful,” said Cashmore.
“Some athletes split their final year over two years and I do kind of wish I did that. But I am happy I didn’t as well and I am so glad my dissertation is over.
“It was the worst thing I have ever done in my life and my final exam is on June 3. It is pretty scary that it is all coming to an end but it does mean that swimming will soon be my main focus.
“It is been a pretty stressful time but swimming helps break it up and things have been going well and I am looking forward to getting out at the World Cup.
“It is going to be good to get in the pool before the Europeans and it is also going to be one of the last times we compete on the world stage before next year’s Paralympics.”
Cashmore will take to the Manchester Aquatics Centre for the Paralympic World Cup this weekend in the 100m backstroke and 50m freestyle as well as potentially the 100m butterfly.
And while those aren’t particularly Cashmore’s favourites the two-time Paralympian, who won triple silver at last year’s World Championships, admits one brings back fond memories.
“The World Cup is always exciting as it is on home soil and I will be doing the 100m backstroke, which isn’t one of my main events anymore,” she added.
“It used to be and it was when I went to the Athens Paralympics and won bronze and it seems to come around every four years. I obviously did it in Athens then Beijing and hopefully in London.
“I am also doing the 50m freestyle and my dad keeps asking me about the 100m butterfly but the 100m breaststroke and 200m medley are my best ones.”
The BT Paralympic World Cup is taking place in Manchester this week with elite international athletes competing in Swimming, Athletics and Wheelchair Basketball.
Go to www.btparalympicworldcup.com for tickets and more information.Tags: British Championships, Claire Cashmore, Paralympic World Cup, Paralympics