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Relaxed Fletcher meets his target

Julian Fletcher believes that his “nothing to lose” mentality helped propel him to his fastest swim of the season in the 100 metres breaststroke semi-finals at the Commonwealth Games.

The 23-year-old said that he felt completely relaxed as he readied himself on the starting blocks for the biggest performance of his life, happy in the knowledge he had already achieved his goal.

Fletcher's objective in Glasgow had been to reach his event's semi-finals, which he managed yesterday morning, finishing sixth in his heat in a time of 1min 4.92sec.

He went even quicker last night, posting a time of 1:04.48 to finish eighth in his semi-final and fifteenth overall.

“I was surprisingly even more relaxed than this morning,” Fletcher said. “I felt a little less pressure, as I had nothing to lose.

“You have to enjoy these type of races because that's what you're in it for.

“A relaxed swimmer is definitely a fast swimmer. I got my stroke and my turn together and dropped a little bit of time off my swim from this morning. I was really pleased about that.”

Sharing the pool with home crowd heroes Michael Jamieson, Ross Murdoch and Craig Benson was an experience that will live long in the memory for Fletcher.

Jamieson, the poster boy at these Games, endured another disappointing night, failing to reach the final after a fifth-place finish.

The Glaswegian, who won a silver medal at the London Olympics, had been expected to raise the roof at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre, but had to settle for silver on Thursday night in the 200 breaststroke, with Murdoch capturing a surprise gold.

“Swimming in the same heat as those Scottish guys in their home pool was very exciting for me,” said Fletcher, who recently graduated from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. “The crowd were so loud and I felt like they were cheering for me! I'll take any little thing that helps.”

Fletcher said that his first major Games had been special and was keen to explore the option of representing Bermuda at more top international competitions in the future.

“It's been a great experience to come out here with Bermuda's athletes and compete for my country,” Fletcher said. “I really can't be happier. Competing for Bermuda again is something I would have to look into.

“I've just graduated from college and I would have to be training at a full-time club. It's something that I will need to discuss with my coach before I make any moves.”

Although Fletcher's Games have come to an end, he will return to the swimming venue, east of Glasgow's city centre, to cheer on team-mate Roy-Allan Burch in this morning's 100 metres freestyle heats.

“I'll definitely be watching Roy's swims,” he said. “Hopefully, I will be watching him in the finals.”

Fletcher achieved his goal of reaching the semi-finals, where he improved on his heat time (Photograph by Mark Davidson)

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Published July 26, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated July 27, 2014 at 10:15 am)

Relaxed Fletcher meets his target

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