Glasgow 2014: Michael Jamieson chasing gold and world record

By David McDaidBBC Sport
Michael Jamieson
Jamieson says Thursday's 200m breaststroke final is "the biggest race of my life"
Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games
Dates: 23 July to 3 August
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, HD, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Scotland, Red Button, Connected TVs, online, tablets and mobiles

Swimmer Michael Jamieson says he is targeting Commonwealth Games gold and a world record when he competes in the 200m breaststroke in his home city.

The 25-year-old is the top medal hope for the host nation on Thursday, the first day of competition in Glasgow.

"I've woken up for training every morning with the world-record time on my alarm clock," said Jamieson.

"It's the first thing I see when I wake up. Psychologically, that's what I'm aiming for."

The current record stands at two minutes 7.01 seconds, set by Japan's Akihiro Yamaguchi in 2012.

Jamieson's personal best, set when he won silver at the London 2012 Olympics, is 0.42secs slower.

"It's a target and I hope I get there this week," he added.

David Wilkie
David Wilkie, a 1976 Olympic gold medallist, is currently Scotland's most successful swimmer

"I've seen at first hand the level of noise a home-crowd advantage can give you. This is the best opportunity I'll ever have to do something like that."

David Wilkie remains Scotland's most successful swimmer after winning two Commonwealth golds in 1974 and an Olympic gold two years later in the 200m breaststroke, the event in which Jamieson now competes.

The 60-year-old thinks his countryman may snatch that title from him if he wins gold in Glasgow in a world-record time.

"I'm not sure I'm ready to have him as the best swimmer ever in Scotland," Wilkie told BBC Sport. "He's still got a bit to do to catch up on me, but that's me being a little bit egotistical.

"If he wins gold and beats the world record, he'll cruise into top spot."

Jamieson describes Thursday's 200m breaststroke final as "the biggest race of my life" as he goes for his first major international gold medal.

He says he is trying to deal with the pressure and avoid being overwhelmed by the sense of occasion.

His image, which can be seen on billboards and posters, has become synonymous with Scotland's gold medal aspirations.

"The nerves are starting to build now, so I'm just trying to stay as chilled as possible," he said.

"I have one day I'm totally relaxed and then one day where I'm getting really nervous and stressed about it.

"I had a quick look at the pool and I had some butterflies already just walking in and seeing the arena."

Michael Jamieson shows off his Olympic silver medal
Jamieson won Olympic silver at London 2012

Jamieson added that he needed to turn the pressure into a positive.

"To have so many people backing me and willing me to do well is brilliant," he said.

"I feel like this isn't only a goal for me, it's for everyone who has given me support and had a hand in my progress as an athlete.

"This is the biggest race of my life. It's at home. It's where things started."

Jamieson says the level of competition will be "truly world class", with five of the top eight swimmers in the world also chasing gold.

Among them is Australian Christian Sprenger, who Jamieson beat to silver in Delhi four years ago.

Jamieson feels he is in the right shape to top them all.

"I certainly think so," he said. "I've done absolutely everything I can.

"I train 35 hours a week to be involved in events like this. The hard graft is already done. Competition should be the easy bit."

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