Even though British Olympic medalist James Guy has been making strides in the 100m and 200m butterfly events as of late, the reigning world champion still considers the 200m freestyle his baby. Having won the world title in Kazan against the likes of powerhouse freestyler Sun Yang of China and versatile weapon Chad Le Clos of South Africa, Guy recognizes his battle to defend the 200m freestyle gold won’t be an easy one. But, it’s an opportunity for which the 21-year-old says he is ready.
“My aim is to do the best that I can and, with the great preparation I’ve had, I’m confident I can achieve that. I am the current World Champion in the 200m Freestyle and I will give my absolute everything in pursuit of my goals,” says Guy, who followed coach Jol Finck to the Bath National Centre earlier this year.
“There are no easy World Championships but this one is going to be especially tough with the likes of Sun Yang, Mack Horton, Chad le Clos and the US guys – it’s going to be interesting,” says Guy.
The 200m free event didn’t go quite as planned for Guy in Rio, as the Brit was forced to settle for 4th place and off the podium with his final time of 1:45.49. Slightly gutting was the fact that his 1:45.14 national record-setting gold performance from Kazan would have won Guy silver in Rio behind Sun Yang’s 1:44.65 winning mark.
However, since returning to the water after a post-Rio break, Guy has proven he’s a world-class contender on multiple fronts, landing on the podium around the world with a robust competition schedule that included stops at the Japan Open and along the Mare Nostrum Tour. At the former meet, Guy matched his personal best 200m fly time of 1:55.91, which earned him bronze in Tokyo. At the latter in Monaco, Guy won the 200m freestyle in a solid in-season time of 1:47.27.
Based on his in-pool performances, Guy says ahead of Budapest, “I’m really pleased with the way I’ve been going in terms of my racing this season,” said Guy. “I’m in a good place, I’ve been training really well and the performances have been where I want them to be. It’s all pointing towards doing a good job this summer.”
Look for SwimSwam’s official preview of the men’s 200m freestyle for the World Championships to be published shortly.
Quotes courtesy of British Swimming.