KARL Morgan’s European Youth Olympic Festival might have been short, but the King’s School pupil made sure it was sweet, and insisted it will not be the last time we will climb the international podium.
The Bottesford 16-year-old was in action just once at Trabzon’s Mehmet Akif swimming complex in Turkey, and that was on day one of competition as a member of Team GB’s 4x100m freestyle relay team.
Despite the one solitary race, former Grantham Swimming Club member Karl made sure he still left his mark on the competition as Team GB came away with silver, just missing out on gold to Russia by 0.68 seconds.
And with his first Great Britain performance in the bag, Karl quickly turned his attentions to future international honours, this time eyeing up the top step of the podium.
Karl said: “It was absolutely amazing to not only compete in such a big competition as this but also to then come away with a silver medal, it is brilliant.
“I only had the one race to do so I was determined to give it my all and I did just that and I wanted to make sure I came away with something. We had a great team effort I thought and that played a major part in us getting the medal because everyone played their part and gave it their all.
“This is by far the highlight of my swimming career and it has left me wanting more and I have the European Junior Championships next year, that this gives me confidence of getting to.
“I want to go to the Europeans now and turn this silver into gold and maybe win some more gold medals there as well. This trip to Turkey has given me a lot of confidence.”
Karl certainly played his part in the team’s silver medal, swimming the fastest 100m of the four, posting 51.72 seconds as the quartet came home in 3min 29.03sec.
And although Russia just pipped them to top spot, Karl insisted there was plenty more to come from himself, Oliver Leonard, Matthew Johnson and fellow Nova Centurion Matthew Watkinson in the years to come.
Karl said: “I am really pleased with a silver medal although we were aiming for the gold and thought we had a realistic chance of winning it.
“We have been better in training and could have won it on a different day but it just wasn’t to be and we ended up with silver, which is still good.
“But this is just the start for us and I am sure if we stick together and keep working at it then we can have more success in the future, and get the gold next time.”
l Lloyds TSB is a proud partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and official supporter of Team GB at the European Youth Olympic Festival. Visit: www.lloydstsb.com/london2012