Attitude: Rebecca Heyliger (above) along with Ashley yearwood and Lisa Blackburn will be trying to qualify for the Commonwealth Games from this weekend’s National Swimming Championships at the Aquatics Centre. *Bermuda Sun photo
Attitude: Rebecca Heyliger (above) along with Ashley yearwood and Lisa Blackburn will be trying to qualify for the Commonwealth Games from this weekend’s National Swimming Championships at the Aquatics Centre. *Bermuda Sun photo

Several swimmers will be looking to punch their tickets to the Commonwealth Games in Bermuda’s first-ever long course National Swimming Championship this weekend.

The meet is sanctioned by FINA and will feature the 50-metre Heyliger ‘confident pool for the first time, allowing the meet to be recognized for qualification purposes for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games and 2015 World Championships, as well as for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glascow.

“Having our nationals as a FINA-approved long course meet and this being Bermuda’s first long course meet shows a step towards a more competitive country.  Very few people outside the world of swimming understand the importance and difference between yards, short course metres and long course metres. The most important and highest level meets are long course meters meets,” swimmer and Commonwealth hopeful Rebecca Heyliger told the Bermuda Sun.

This will be the last chance for several Bermudian swimmers to reach qualifying times for the Commonwealth Games, with Heyliger, Ashley Yearwood, and Lisa Blackburn all looking at potential places on the team. 

 Heyliger will try and match her impressive performance in the Island Games last year, and believes the key will be to stay relaxed, saying: “I am feeling pretty confident in myself. Last year’s nationals I went in with a relaxed attitude and had an astounding meet. 

“I will be approaching this meet with the same relaxed attitude, because from experience I perform best when I am relaxed and having fun.”

Yearwood will be taking a break from her two main events, the 50-metre and 100-metre freestyle sprints, and told the Sun her focus will be not trying to overthink her races or put unnecessary pressure on herself.

Fletcher

Bermuda will also welcome home Glascow-bound swimmers Roy-Allan Burch and Julian Fletcher, adding even more star power to an already exciting field.  National coach Ben Smith told the Sun: “It’s always good to have our top athletes here and in form in front of the home crowd and setting a really good example for the up-and-coming swimmers.” 

“This is the format that we would normally be travelling to compete in, and now we’re going to have the opportunity to do it at home. It’s going to be exciting.”