Bethany Firth: NI swimmer says Commonwealth Games are 'in my head every day'

Bethany Firth
Firth (centre) won five gold medals at last week's World Para-swimming Championships

Bethany Firth said she thinks about winning a Commonwealth Games gold medal every day - and has postponed her honeymoon in her bid for success.

Birmingham will be the first time Firth's main event - the S14 200m freestyle - has been included in the Commonwealth Games, the only major event she has not won gold in.

Firth won five golds at last week's World Para-swimming Championships in Madeira, and was back in the pool on Monday to continue her preparations for the Games, which start on 28 July.

"This is definitely the one that is missing," six-time Paralympic gold medallist Firth, who has also won three European golds, told Sportsound Extra Time.

"I cannot lie, it is in my head pretty much every day. I have just got to refocus. From competing and having a high, you have a few days where you have a bit of a low, but Nelson [Lindsay, her coach] has got me back in the pool already.

"It just shows what you have to do to remain at the top. I go on a training camp to Tenerife on Saturday with the swimmers that are going away [to the Commonwealth Games] with Team Northern Ireland.

"I am excited for that, I am excited to get some good metres in and I'm excited just to focus on the 200 freestyle.

"Normally when I go into these events I have a lot of events that I am focusing on, and a lot of different strokes, so it will be nice just to focus on this one stroke and just see what we can do.

"It is one that I have always said I have always wanted. I cannot control what everyone else is going to do, but I do really want it and am just going to give it my all."

'Winning gold can't top getting married'

Bethany Firth
Firth is a six-time Paralympic champion

While Firth, 26, is fully focused on what will be her first time competing in a Commonwealth Games, taking place in Birmingham from 28 July until 8 August, she also spoke of her her joy at getting married in May.

She and husband Andrew Fuller are yet to go on honeymoon, but the Seaforde native says she will be ready for the break away after the Games.

"It was definitely the best day ever," she said.

"I don't think even winning gold could top off getting married. It was honestly amazing and it is nice to know you have that person - no matter if I'm winning gold or not - it is nice to know that you have still got that person.

"I would do it [get married] all over again if I could - every day I would get married. I don't get to honeymoon until after the Commonwealths. I will definitely, definitely be ready for a trip away but you have to wait for the good things."

Firth's impressive five-medal haul at the World Para-swimming Championships in Madeira included a win in the S14 200m freestyle and the S14 100m backstroke. She also anchored Great Britain's 4x100m medley S14 relay team to victory in a thrilling finish, overhauling Madeleine McTernan of Australia with the final stroke to win by one-hundredth of a second.

"I was so so delighted, definitely," she added.

"I broke my foot and I must be the slowest of bone healers ever because it just would not heal. Then I got Covid and then I was planning a wedding and everything.

"It's been a very busy year but I have such a great team around me and I think that shows with how I performed because I was able to balance all of Covid, a wedding and a broken foot and still perform at the Worlds. So, yes, I was over the moon to go out there and achieve what I achieved."

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