In full flow: Burch pictured training with Ryan Lochte in South Carolina. *Photo supplied
In full flow: Burch pictured training with Ryan Lochte in South Carolina. *Photo supplied

Bermudian swimmer Roy-Allan Burch is drawing inspiration from teammate and Olympic superstar Ryan Lochte as he chases his Olympic medal dream.

Simply qualifying isn’t enough for Burch this time around, with the two-time Olympian setting his sights  on a podium place in Rio in 2016.

As part of South Carolina’s SwimMac Team Elite, Burch trains with other international competitors — most notably Lochte, who is an 11-time Olympic medallist, five of which were gold.

Burch believes working with such an established winner such as Lochte “continues to prove that I am doing the kind of training required to reach my goals. 

“It also gives me the opportunity to see what he does well and try to apply those things to my training.

“Ryan and I will work together in the gym occasionally and we converse ideas on how to help grow the Team Elite social
media with his large fan base.”

Burch, who will give himself Christmas Day off only over the festive period,  says the targets set in Team Elite are high.

He said: “In order to train on my team we are required to completely look past qualifying for the Olympics. 

“The goal set at the beginning of the season is to medal at the Olympics.

“I know where I am with my training today and I’m positive that qualifying for the Olympics will not prove the difficult task. 

“The lofty goal of competing and earning a medal is a complex process. 

“I will have to continue to work harder than I ever have, focus and learn as much as I can.”

Burch is coming off a strong meet in Italy — the International Nico Sapio Trophy in Genoa —where he set the national record twice in the 100m freestyle, beating his own mark each time.

Burch said: “Racing in Italy was a small step towards what I could produce next summer. 

“I was able to make a fair amount of improvements and swim a good time for me but an okay time on the world stage. 

“It was a valuable experience to travel there, train and race under different circumstances.  The Italian people were passionate about their swimming and embraced me willfully. 

“These kind of experiences really help to keep you moving forward.” 

To train and compete at the level Burch is at is obviously demanding and expensive, and sponsorship is always welcome. 

Burch added: “More sponsorship would have a profound effect on my training and competition. Being able to acquire more of what’s needed to succeed is always positive.”