“I’m really competitive and I don’t want to lose so it’s just really that driving me on.”
When you have managed to win gold at every major international meet just four years into your international career, you could be forgiven for thinking that Great Britain’s Ollie Hynd might have lost his competitive edge.
But keeping motivated is very simple for Hynd: “I think it’s just not wanting to lose. I’m really competitive and I don’t want to lose so it’s just really that driving me on.”
The 20-year-old is going into his second World Championships from 13-19 July in Glasgow, Great Britain, as one of the big names having won gold medals at every major Championships since he burst onto the scene in 2011 at the Euros in Berlin.
However despite such an impressive record, especially in the 200m individual medley SM8 where he is unbeaten, Hynd knows that any possible psychological edge can also be motivation for the chasing pack.
“I think maybe because I’ve been able to win the 200 medley consecutively since 2011 at all the major Championships, that maybe that gives me a little psychological edge over my competitors,” he said.
“But also it’s harder to stay on top than it is to get to the top so it kind of goes both ways, but I don’t really think about it I just do my best really.”
One of those 200m individual medley golds was won at last year’s Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in the Tollcross International Swimming Centre, the same venue as the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships. The British swimmer, who has a condition that weakens the muscles in his legs, knows how important home crowd support will be come July.
“The atmosphere last year at the Commonwealth Games was amazing,” Hynd said. “It was so reminiscent of London [2012 Paralympic Games] just the way that the crowd were behind us and we really felt like we were fully supported similar to how we were in London.
“I think the home crowd at Glasgow is going to be immense and it’s really going to push us, it is a smaller team so we need to feed off that excitement from the crowd.”
With the World Championships being just over a year out from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Hynd notes how likely it is to see the very best swimmers in the world push hard to lay down a marker.
“It’ll be kind of the last time that the whole world comes together before Rio so if you look at the trend that the Paralympic cycle has taken over the last few cycles the year before the Games the standard really steps up,” he said.
“A lot of the swimmers from around the world really do step up and swim fast to set themselves up for the following year for the Paralympics, so I expect that the standard will be fairly high and everyone will be really competitive.”
Hynd is expecting a lot of close races in his category especially with challenge of the Russians Konstantin Lisenkov and Denis Tarasov, both of whom got the better of Hynd in the 100m backstroke S8 at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal, Canada.
Despite this, Hynd’s impressive run of results make him hard to bet against.
Tickets for the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships are still available priced at GBP 10/15 for heats/finals, with children under 16 going free (terms and conditions apply). Heats start at 10am and finals at 6pm every day between 13-19 July.
Media accreditation is also still available.