Badsworth swimmer Max Litchfield has set his sights on winning a place in Great Britain’s team in this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
He believes next week’s BUCS Nationals will serve as a perfect litmus test to see if he’s on track to fulfil his Olympic dream.
Litchfield competed at the Commonwealth Games back in 2014 and is no stranger to success at the BUCS Nationals after picking up two golds and a silver medal in the pool last year.
The Sheffield Hallam University student will defend his 400m individual medley and 400m freestyle titles this year, while also looking to go one better than the second place he achieved in the 200m individual medley.
And the 20-year-old claims the competition – which is the UK’s largest annual multi-sport event – will be a crucial step on his personal road to Rio.
“Obviously with 2016 being an Olympic year, BUCS won’t be my main focus but it will be a great way to test myself and see where I’m at,” said Litchfield.
“It’s not actually long until Olympic trials now – only about nine weeks – so it is getting pretty close.
“I’ve got BUCS and then a competition in Edinburgh which will be one of my last before I taper for the trials.
“It’s not really about results for me at BUCS. Obviously you want to do well for your uni but it’s more about performance and making sure I am on track.”
The BUCS Nationals, which has been a building block in the careers of many professional athletes, will take place at a range of venues across the city of Sheffield between today (Friday) and Sunday.
Litchfield will be one of a number of Olympic hopefuls on show and after his success 12 months ago, he admits he is relishing a return to Pond’s Forge.
“BUCS is always a good competition, it is good fun and you do go up against some of the best swimmers around which is a great test,” added Litchfield. “It’s nice to represent your university as well, which I don’t get to do a lot, and you can support your friends in action.”
British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the national governing body for Higher Education (HE) sport in the UK, representing more than 150 institutions.
Covering 52 sports, BUCS aids grass roots participation through to supporting aspiring elite athletes en route to Commonwealth or Olympic Games. For more details visit www.bucs.org.uk