Despite the agony of finishing fourth in two World Swimming Championship finals off the back of finishing just one place out of the medals also in last year’s Olympics, Badsworth’s Max Litchfield is confident he is heading in the right direction.
While the lack of a medal was obviously disappointing the 22-year-old former Badsworth CE Junior School pupil could look back at the World Championships in Hungary with plenty of pride after setting new national records in both events he competed in.
Litchfield, who swims for the City of Sheffield club, set a new British record in the heats of the 200 metres individual medley on the way to his fourth place in the final.
Then he repeated the feat with a new personal best time on the way to qualifying in second place for the final of the 400 metres individual medley.
He went on to beat that time for a new Commonwealth record as well in the final and came within half-a-second of a bronze medal when pipped by Japan’s Daiya Seto in the final length.
After the second of his finals, Litchfield said: “If you look at my curve for the last three years, there has been a massive drop in times for me.
“If we keep doing that, which we will over the next few years, then we will be in with a shout for Tokyo (Olympics).
“I don’t think this week has highlighted a massive amount of things I need to work on, it’s just putting the little things right and the times will come down.
“I’ve got a few weeks off now, just chilling and getting away from it all and then I’ll be back at it again at the end of September.”
On the agony of so narrowly missing out on a medal in the 400 metres event when he had been second to eventual winner Chase Kalisz at half-way and third turning into the last 50, Litchfield said he was flat out.
He added: “It is what it is, but I’m really happy with the time. I just couldn’t quite pull it together at the end.
“That last 25 felt horrible, the hardest 25m of my life. It was just not great at all and I was just trying to hold on.”