Swimming: Snyders and Ingram take on global challenge

Olympic breaststroker Glenn Snyders is circling the globe to kick-start his plan to get on the Rio podium in four years' time. Photo / Getty Images.
Olympic breaststroker Glenn Snyders is circling the globe to kick-start his plan to get on the Rio podium in four years' time. Photo / Getty Images.

Olympic breaststroker Glenn Snyders is circling the globe to kick-start his plan to get on the Rio podium in four years' time.

The 25-year-old will compete in all eight rounds of the FINA World Cup in the Middle East, Europe and Asia starting in Dubai next week.

He will be joined by fellow North Shore Olympian Melissa Ingram in all the World Cup meets with a number of other New Zealand swimmers to compete in some rounds.

Snyders is digging into his own pocket to fund the trip, which he believes will provide much-needed international racing and the skill of backing up world-class performances from morning to evening swims.

He set the fifth fastest time with a significant New Zealand record in the 100m breaststroke heats in London only to swim slower in the evening semifinal to miss out on a place in the final.

"This is about international racing experience, back-to-back racing, stepping up from heats to final, learning more about myself, how to react under pressure and fending for myself," Snyders said. "If I make the finals in all my events, which is the aim, it will be 48 races in six weeks. That's probably as many international races as I have had in my whole career. So it's a lot of racing experience.

"Lack of world-class competition is one of the big issues in New Zealand for me as a breaststroker. There are a couple of top breaststrokers in Australia but you can never be sure they will swim the same meets as you, so to have constant international racing experience will be invaluable."

Snyders dipped his toes in the World Cup waters last year with races in Berlin and Stockholm which whetted his appetite.

"I have decided to commit for another four years. There's unfinished business really. I enjoyed the World Cup last year and doing the series gave me the incentive to get back in the pool and train hard, which mentally was tough after London."

Ingram, 27, has tasted more of the World Cup in the past and has achieved success over the short course discipline, where she is a former world championship medallist.

"I have good skills. I've got a very strong kick, especially underwater. Short course is fun. It will be tiring but you have to manage it. I make sure I do all my recovery right and rest a lot.

"Eight meets is a lot but I have always wanted to do them all so I am quite excited. It is the best opportunity in swimming to meet new people from around the world and the friendships your forge on the World Cup circuit carry with you for the years to come."

There's one difference between the two Olympians, with Ingram keen to use the opening two meets to qualify for December's short course world championships in Turkey. Snyders is a likely non-starter.

Ingram has some decisions to make about her swimming future and the next few weeks might help.

"For me, the world championships are a target," she said. "I've done a five-day drop taper for Dubai so I potentially should be going faster in Doha. It is a real goal for me and then I will decide in the New Year about my future in the sport."

After Dubai, the circuit moves to Europe for meets in Stockholm (13-14 October), Moscow (October 17-18) and Berlin (October 20-21) before the final three rounds in Beijing (2-3 November), Tokyo (6-7 November) and Singapore (10-11 November).

Joining them for the Middle East and European legs is Christchurch's Cameron Simpson, while Michael Jack will also compete in Dubai and Doha.

Mitchell Donaldson, Matt Stanley and Dylan Dunlop-Barrett will take part in the three Asian meets in November.

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 22 Dec 2014 23:24:15 Processing Time: 382ms