Mullen in Glasgow on journey to gold

Four-time European champion Andrew Mullen has set his sights on improving on his 50m backstroke silver from the 2013 Worlds. 27 Mar 2015
A swimmers emerges from the water to begin a stroke

Great Britain's Andrew Mullen was one of three swimmers to win three golds at the 2014 IPC Swimming European Championships.

ⒸKees-Jan van Overbeeke
By Abdullah Mahmood

"I’m just really excited to race in my home pool."

Quadruple European champion and Glasgow boy Andrew Mullen has revealed that his main target in 2015 is to upgrade on his World Championships 50m backstroke S5 silver medal at his home pool from 13-19 July.

Mullen, who is currently competing at the same venue in Glasgow, Great Britain, that will stage the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships, spoke of his delight at having the chance to return to where it all began.

“Yeah it’ll be great,” he said. “I guess the London Paralympics were a home Games in a sense but Glasgow’s literally home as it is right in my backyard, in the pool I learnt to swim in and stuff so there’s a sentimental value there as well. I’m just really excited to race in my home pool.”

The 2015 British Para Swimming International Meet has gathered some of the top swimmers from Great Britain and across the globe as they look to secure qualification for Glasgow 2015 this summer.

For the 18-year-old qualification is the priority along with improving his performances in the 50m backstroke, in which he already sealed European gold in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, in 2014.

“Well definitely that’s the main goal of trials of course is to get the qualifications times. I’m feeling good so hopefully I’ll be able to do that in Glasgow.

“This season with my coach we’ve set sights on the 50m backcrawl, that’s sort of my main event I’ll be targeting there. I got a silver medal at the last World Championships and I’d like to maintain that or maybe improve that to gold if possible."

A key part of that is ensuring that he and his coach keep things fresh while also building and consolidating what has worked well in the past.

“Every year me and my coach sort of sit down and want to try something new, it keeps it fresh with what I’m doing and keeps the excitement there,” Mullen said.

“I tend not too really look at what other guys are doing around the world. I just focus on me and on what I’m doing in my home programme with my coach.

“It’s all about building blocks from previous year’s performance, use the previous year and build on it and continue to get better.”

Mullen goes into the 2015 season as one of the leading swimmers in his class having enjoyed two very impressive years in the pool. At the 2013 World Championships in Montreal, Canada, he also secured silver in the 50m individual medley SM5 alongside a bronze in the 50m butterfly S5.

While you would be forgiven for thinking that he would feel pressure coming into this year, Mullen knows that the only expectations come from within and from those closest to him.

“It’s obviously a massive confidence boost coming off a year where you've swum well and your training programme is working but to me I don’t feel any pressure.

“The only expectations I really have are from my family and my coach and the ones I put on myself, and those guys just want me to do well and have fun with my swimming so there’s no pressure there.”

Competition at the 2015 British Para Swimming International Meet continues until Sunday (29 March). A livestream is available at British Swimming’s website as well as live results.

Glasgow 2015 will gather around 650 of the world’s best swimmers from 50 countries. Tickets are available at from as little as 10/15 GBP for heats/finals.