Oliver Jermy was thrilled to make his mark at the British Gas Swimming Championships with a sparkling early season performance.
The Havant & Waterlooville club member secured a stunning victory in the junior 400m individual medley with a time of 4mins 34.12secs.
He also produced a series of cracking performances across his other events at the prestigious competition – held in the 2014 Commonwealth Games pool, in Glasgow.
Jermy, 17, was delighted with the way he executed his title-winning swim.
He was first at the halfway point after strong butterfly and backstroke performances – but he lost ground during the breaststroke.
That meant he had a 10m deficit to make up on the leader with his front crawl in the final 100m.
He closed the gap with a strong first 50m, before powering clear to win in spectacular fashion – finishing more than a second clear of second-placed Thomas McLagan.
Jermy said: ‘All I remember was trying to keep a straight face before all the cameras and trying not to fall off the blocks.
‘I stuck to my strategy – doing what I know.
‘There were a few seconds to gain up, on the front crawl, but I managed to do it.
‘I wanted to get out well and try to hold it, so that I could come back strong.
‘After the race I didn’t want to look at the board – I didn’t really know I had won.
‘But they announced it and when I knew, it was absolutely electric.
‘It was probably my best early-on swim that I have done. It shows I’m definitely improving.’
Jermy also impressed in the final of the 200m backstroke – securing a sixth-place finish with a time of 2.06.40.
He had opened up the championships, which also served as trials for the Commonwealth Games, with 14th place in the final of the junior open 400m freestyle (4.07.13).
And he finished it with the 200m individual medley (2.13.63).
For Jermy, it was a valuable chance to get a taste of top quality competition in a first-class environment.
He relished the experience and it has fuelled his desire to get back onto the big stage in future.
Jermy said: ‘It was amazing – getting the chance to swim in the Commonwealth pool, alongside people who have made it big time.
‘The facilities there in Glasgow are phenomenal.
‘It was more professional than I have ever experienced before and it was all shown online and on television.
‘The atmosphere was electric in the pool.
‘From the start of the season I wanted to go but I couldn’t have had the experience without the support of my sponsor Wilkins Kennedy.
‘I will definitely be looking to do the championship again in upcoming years.’
Jermy is coached by Graham Pople at Havant.
He was second youngest of the competitors in Glasgow and proved his quality across multiple events.
The next target will be the regional championships in Crawley, before the nationals in Sheffield.