Derbyshire Institute of Sport swimmer Abbie Wood’s long-term goal of competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been given a double boost.
The 17-year-old from Buxton has been named among a 16-strong squad who have flown out to Arizona in the USA for a three-week training camp at altitude.
And the former Derventio eXcel swimmer, now representing the National Centre in Loughborough, has also been called up for her second senior international selection.
She will represent Great Britain at the World Short Course Swimming Championships in Windsor, Canada between December 6 and 11, where she will swim the 400m individual medley and 400m freestyle.
In the States, Abbie, on Derbyshire’s ICON bursary programme for 2016-17, will be part of a programme designed to take the performance of Great Britain athletes to ‘new heights’ in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The trip to the Hypo2 High Performance Sport Centre in Flagstaff is the first in a series of 10 national camps between now and the Tokyo Games targeting 200 metre-plus swimmers of the right age and performance profile to be able to excel in four years’ time.
“We believe there are some significant gains for a group of swimmers that we need to explore further and ultimately perfect ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Games,” said Chris Spice, British Swimming’s National Performance Director.
“British Swimming will implement a testing programme prior to, during and post each altitude exposure to ensure we’re maximizing the positive effects such training can have on an athlete.”
“Flagstaff is just the first in the 10-camp altitude programme. We will be holding two a year in October and then either January or February, for three weeks at a time.”
Abbie was supported by the DIS to secure overnight accommodation to the British Summer National Championships, where she took gold in the 400m individual medley for 17-18 year-olds.
She has previously been helped with specialist coaching and strength and conditioning support – which helped her win a European Games gold medal in 2015 – before her move to join a world class training programme in Loughborough.
The call-up for Abbie follows good news last week for fellow DIS swimmer Imogen Clark, who has been selected to swim in a British squad in Ontario, Canada.