Imogen Clark Talks Successful 2022, Thoughts On ISL During Pull Buoy Podcast

Coming off of the most successful year of her career, British breaststroking ace Imogen Clark recently spoke to the Pull Buoy Podcast.

A variety of topics are covered in the approximately 30-minute conversation, including her medal achievements, training environment and thoughts on the International Swimming League (ISL).

“I’m coming off the best year of my career,” 23-year-old Clark reflected on her 2022 racing. “My goal was to make the Commonwealth Games and land on the podium.”

As a refresher, Clark made the English team for the 2022 Commonwealth Games where she ultimately took silver in the women’s 50m breaststroke event. Clark touched in a time of 30.02 to finish behind winner Lara van Niekerk of South Africa, but Clark’s effort resulted in a new lifetime best and British Record.

With just a few days turnaround time between the meets, Clark set off to Rome to race at the European Championships. There she captured another piece of hardware, a bronze in the 50m breast with a time of 30.31.

In the podcast, Clark describes how she only found out she had made the Euros team after the Commonwealth Games had concluded. Within 3 days she landed in Rome but immediately tested positive for COVID-19 and was quarantined in a hotel for a week.

As such, her bronze medal came after she was hotel-room bound and out of the water. However, Clark said the situation alleviated ‘any pressure to perform’, adding that she was ‘starstruck’ to be surrounded by such ‘racing greats’ as Benedetta Pilato of Italy and Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania.

Clark also points to her experience in the ISL as preparation for quick turnaround between racing and meets.

Additionally, Clark describes in the podcast how her participation across the league’s 3 seasons ‘kept her from leaving the sport.’

“It was so much fun. I got to work with different coaches, different athletes and learn what works for them. I would definitely do another ISL season if I were invited,” she said.

Clark is thriving in her current Derventio eXcel environment, despite her one-time coach Jamie Main having left to take a position at Bath. She says the training group is extremely positive, and encouraging and allows her to tackle tough sets she would see as nearly impossible on her own.

Looking toward 2023, Clark has her eyes on April’s British Swimming Championships, the primary meet at which swimmers will be selected for this year’s World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan. With Paris 2024 also on the horizon, Clark is focusing on the 100m breaststroke, especially with the likes of fellow Brits Molly Renshaw and Sarah Vasey having retired.

“There is definitely more of an opportunity in the 100m breast,” Clark said, also pointing to the fact that medley relay slots could also be in the mix for her.

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7 months ago

Clark is world class in 50Br. Commonwealth silver, European Bronze, 6th at World Short Course in 2022. Yet no funding from British Swimming. It’s so short sighted.

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Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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