Maria Godden career best performances at European Swimming Championships in Bucharest

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Callan's Maria Godden put in career best performances at the European Short Course Swimming Championships in Bucharest Romania last weekend.
Maria, a backstroke specialist reached the semi finals of both the 100 and 200 metres. In doing so Maria set a personal best (PB) of 2.06.71 in the 200 metres. This swim ranks Maria eleventh in Europe. 
Reflecting on this event Maria was very pleased. “I’m delighted, that’s just under four seconds personal best in the 200m Backstroke just this year so I’m pleased to see all the training and hard work paying off, especially as short course wouldn’t be my strongest suit, so this is really positive heading into long course season’.
In the 100 metres Maria set two PB's first in the heat and then in the semi final 59.29. Just like the 200m this give her a ranking of 11th in Europe. Speaking after the 100 metres Maria was a little surprised. “I’m a little bit in awe, I know we’re not in rest or taper mode yet, so to be doing these sorts of times so early in the season is really positive. I definitely felt my legs going in the last 15 metres, but I know what I have to work on now going into long course season”. 
In the shortest backstroke race Maria also achieved a PB of 28.09 to rank 20th. 
This was Maria's second European Short Course Championships and in her own words "I was looking to build on the experience I gained at my last championships. In 2019, I went as a junior, this time, I was traveling as a senior athlete. There was therefore a little more pressure to feature by making second swims and achieving PB's. 
This was certainly accomplished with a personal best for every swim! 
Her final swim was a switch to 400 metre freestyle where she clocked 4.10.26 slashing a whopping four seconds off her precious PB.
With the added expectation of being a senior swimmer how did Maria cope? Speaking on her return home Maria said "it was probably the least nervous I’ve ever been for a major championships. I’ve been doing a lot of work around my breathing and trying to stay calm and focused during the competition which I believed helped me to be successful at this competition".
Overall it was an excellent week in the Romanian capital. "The competition has been a massive confidence boost, especially as I wasn’t rested at all (50km week of training in the lead up to competition) with excellent race practice against the best in Europe".
Maria is quick to acknowledge the role of her coaches past and present. "I have to pay credit to my coaches in Limerick but also to John Duffy (Kilkenny SC) and the Kilkenny Swim Team for their continued support and encouragement during the competition. If I can inspire the younger swimmers in Kilkenny it is great.
On the horizon
So it is a switch to the 50 metre pool from January and focus turns to the World Championships in Doha. "We are doing a training camp in January for ten days and straight into a competition in Belgium before heading to my first worlds.
Between their own domestic galas the eyes of the Irish and Kilkenny swimming fraternity will be transfixed on Maria and her teammates in Doha. Fingers crossed that maybe in light of Daniel Wiffen's stunning 800 metre World Record Irish television broadcasters might even televise the action.

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