CAITLIN McClatchey is looking forward to her first competitive action since the Olympic Games at the Scottish Gas National Short Course Championships starting today at the Royal Commonwealth Pool.
But, after a hectic few months since London 2012, the new Edinburgh University recruit is not expecting too much.
The 27 year-old starts a Masters degree in Performance Psychology at the university next month and, in the pool, has her eyes on the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. She also hasn’t ruled out a fourth Olympics at Rio 2016.
McClatchey said: “It’s taken months to move from Loughborough to Edinburgh and it’s all been a bit of a nightmare organising everything. My parents live in Inverness so I’ve also had spells up there but I’m now settling into a routine. I started training with Edinburgh University just last week and I’ve only done bits and bobs since the Olympics and am certainly not race fit.
“The coach, Chris Jones, and the rest of the swimmers have been great and I’m loving Edinburgh. My mum and dad [former Commonwealth Games swimmers John and Louise] both come from Edinburgh and it’s always been one of my aspirations to study at the University.”
Jones is certainly thrilled to add such a famous name to his group. “I’m absolutely delighted to have Caitlin, and her wealth of experience,” he said. “It’s such an advantage to have a three-time Olympian and double Commonwealth champion in the squad.”
McClatchey, who made her Olympic debut in Athens in 2004, won bronze at the 2005 World Championships and hit the headlines when she won double gold for Scotland in the 200m and 400m freestyle at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
“I’m so looking forward to Glasgow 2014,” she added. “After experiencing the home crowd in London I really knew I wanted to go on to another major home event.
“I also asked myself ‘if I stop now will I regret it come Glasgow?’ The answer was a definite ‘yes’. Following the Commonwealths it will only be two years to the next Olympics in Rio. So who knows?”
Keri-Anne Payne, the Open Water World Champion, is another newcomer to the Capital making her debut at the Scottish Championships.
The 25-year-old married Scottish swimmer and fellow Olympian David Carry in September and the newlyweds are now living in Edinburgh and she has joined the Warrender Club.
For both her and McClatchey, competing in the newly-refurbished Commonwealth Pool is an exciting prospect.
“During my career Scottish Championships have mainly been held at Tollcross in Glasgow,” said McClatchey. “In fact, this is my first competition at the Commonwealth Pool.
“But it certainly lived up to expectations during the Olympic holding camp last July. Now I’m training regularly at the Commonwealth Pool. For me, Edinburgh is definitely the place to be.”
The Championships take place over the next three days with finals starting at 5.20pm.