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Paris 2024: Greenbank “motivated” by new British swimming rivals

Image source, Rex Features

Image description, Luke Greenbank won bronze in the 200m backstroke at Tokyo 2020

  • Author, Alasdair Gill
  • Role, BBC Look North (North East and Cumbria)

Luke Greenbank says the challenge of competing alongside his younger British rivals keeps him “motivated” as he prepares for his second Olympic Games.

But the 26-year-old from Cockermouth lost to rising star Oliver Morgan in both the 100m and 200m backstroke at the British Championships in April.

“It keeps me going, it keeps me motivated and I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can achieve in Paris,” he said.

“I really enjoy the competition”

Greenbank has won medals at the Olympic Games, World Championships, European Championships and Commonwealth Games.

However, he was not selected for last year’s World Championships in Japan and had to fight his way back into the British team squad.

The swimmer from Cumbria has achieved this as a relative ‘old hand’ in the backstroke, after 21-year-old Morgan, who set a new British record in the 100m backstroke at the Olympic qualifiers, and 19-year-old Jonathon Marshall were also included in the team.

So Greenbank has a different perspective as he heads to his second games.

“This Olympics is completely different to the last Olympics,” he told BBC Look North.

“The last few years have been full of ups and downs – just like before Tokyo – but I like to think that I have recovered well.

“There is a lot more competition in the country, as Ollie Morgan and Jonny Marshall are of course on the team.

“But it’s good. It keeps me on my toes. I really enjoy the competition.”

Image source, Rex Features

Image description, Luke Greenbank (second from left) won silver in the men’s 4x100m medley relay in Tokyo with Duncan Scott (left), Adam Peaty and James Guy

Greenbank can look forward to having family and friends from Cockermouth supporting him in Paris this time around, after being forced to watch from home in Tokyo in 2021 due to Covid restrictions.

With this inspiration, he hopes his followers will see him on the podium again.

“There are definitely some things that were better before Tokyo, but there are also some things that are better now in terms of technique, breakaway and subtleties,” he said.

“If I find that fitness and implement the racing model correctly, I have a chance to improve.”

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