Recently having his debut season as a senior swimmer for Team GB, this year, Ed Mildred has so far competed at the British Championships and the Edinburgh International Swim Meet. At the 2022 European Championships in Rome, Ed came away with the Bronze medal in the Men’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay with his teammates Jacob Whittle, Matt Richards and Tom Dean, also winning Silver in the Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay having swam in the heats. Making his debut Commonwealth Games appearance for Team England in Birmingham last year, Ed won two Silvers and one Bronze medal in the 4x100m Relays. As a junior, Ed competed at the European Junior Championships with success in the 100m Freestyle, 4x100m Mixed Medley Relay and 100m Butterfly, and in 2019, at the European Youth Olympic Festival, he won a number of medals including Gold in the 200m Freestyle and 4x100m Freestyle and Mixed Freestyle. This July, Ed is heading to the European U23 Championships, and he is aiming to compete at the Olympic trials next season in preparation of making the British Olympic team. Speaking to us, Ed told us about winning Bronze at the European Championships in Rome with Team GB, making his debut for Team England at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and his success at the European Youth Olympic Festival.
You recently competed at the 2023 British Swimming Championships, what are these competitions like to be part of?
These competitions are a week of tough hard racing, every top swimmer in the UK peaks for this meet each year and having a good or bad performance can really make or break your season. Therefore making it important you prep for the competition better than your competitors.
How was it competing at the Edinburgh International Swim Meet earlier this year?
Edinburgh International is a great bench mark meet before the British Championships and is a regular event for us each year. The event can really be a mixed bag depending on how our body is feeling, but it was great to get some racing under my belt and put in some solid performances.
At the 2022 European Aquatics Championships in Rome, you won Bronze in the Men’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay alongside Jacob Whittle, Matt Richards and Tom Dean, how did this feel?
I was over the moon with the result, it was my first major senior final and to come away with a medal was more than I could have hoped for. With the team being very young, it was an interesting line-up against very proven teams, such as the Italians. I was put on the anchor leg which can be a very tough position to be in and really tested my nerve but was glad to put in a good performance to grab a Bronze medal.
What was it like racing in the heats of the Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay, which saw Great Britain come away with the Silver medal in the final?
Relays are a great opportunity to put in some hard fast racing and it’s always great to do your job for the team so that they are able to get the best result in the final. It can feel strange just being a heat swimmer but you just have to put your best swim in to get the team the best possible lane for the final.
You represented Team England at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, how did you find the atmosphere making your Commonwealth Games debut in front of a home crowd?
The crowd was surreal and was nothing I’d ever experienced before, the home advantage was something all of us really felt. Walking out to a full crowd all cheering for you was a once in a lifetime event.
Having competed in the 4x100m Relays in Birmingham, how was it winning two Silver medals and one Bronze medal, and how did you stay focused throughout the Games?
Personally, my schedule was very different to most where I was playing a team role working on relays and doing my part for the team to collect medals. I did my part perfectly well and was happy with my performances, but thankfully down to some incredible teammates I was able to walk away with some fantastic medals around my neck.
In 2021, you won Silver in the 100m Freestyle and 4x100m Mixed Medley Relay and Bronze in the 100m Butterfly at the European Junior Championships, how was the experience competing in Rome and winning your medals?
The European Junior Championships in Rome was a great meet for me and a breakout meet into the world of senior swimming. All my results were incredible and sealed the deal in my mind that I have been and always will be known as a great junior swimmer and have the result I always knew I was capable of.
What are some of your stand-out memories from the 2019 European Youth Olympic Festival, which saw you win a number of medals, including Gold in the 200m Freestyle, 4x100m Freestyle and 4x100m Mixed Freestyle?
This competition was personally one of my favourites – not only were all my swims incredible for me at the time, but it was also my first time hearing the National Anthem play for me. Breaking a handful of age group records, winning some medals and becoming one of the most decorated athletes at the Games was like a dream. The event was something I will cherish forever and will always have fond memories of.
How have you found your debut season as a senior swimmer for Team GB and can you tell us about some of your favourite highlights from your time as a swimmer so far?
My debut senior season couldn’t have gone better. The step up is notoriously difficult so to come away with plenty of medals over the summer, PBs and 9th in Europe on the 100 fly was perfect.
What do you enjoy most about competing in relays and how different do you find preparing for those opposed to individual races?
Relays are always good fun and a great change from the nature of an individual sport, but the approach to the race is still the same.
Where does your love of swimming come from and how did you get into it?
I tried a lot of sports when I was younger and learned to swim from a very young age. I was naturally talented in the sport and progressed through club ranks very fast. I’ve always been a competitive person so I always wanted to compete in the sport that I know I can be very successful at.
Can you tell us about your typical training day and how much has it changed over time?
My typical training day consists of a training session in the morning, sometimes a gym session after the morning session, then swimming again in the evening, resulting in ten swim sessions a week and three gym sessions.
Do you have a favourite aspect of being a competitive swimmer and representing Great Britain and England internationally?
Besides the opportunity to get results, I love being on a team with all my closest mates and travelling internationally.
Have you been given any advice over your swimming career so far that has stuck with you?
Good things come to those that wait – many people including my dad have said this to me.
Do you have any competitions coming up that you can tell us about or have any that you are targeting?
My main aim for this year is the European U23 Championships in July, where I’ll be competing in my main events. Other than this, of course, Olympic trials next season to target the Olympics will be huge.
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