Katie Shanahan targets Paris after breakthrough year in the pool

The teenage swimmer aims for the Olympics after Commonwealth success.

After bursting onto the swimming scene at last year’s Commonwealth Games, 2023 is a year of change for Katie Shanahan.

The 18-year-old came home from Birmingham with two bronze medals, announcing her arrival at the top level of the sport.

But now Shanahan is ready for the next chapter of her life, both in and out of the pool.

Having moved out of her family home and relocated to Stirling University for her studies she has her sights on the very top.

The swimmer from Glasgow admits juggling her journalism degree and her first season on the senior circuit is a challenge, but one she’s relishing.

She said: “I have grown up quite a lot, especially moving out and getting that experience of cooking, shopping, cleaning without my mum doing it all for me.

“I think I’ve closed that chapter of my life, in terms of high school, age group swimming.

“Now this is the big time, senior swimming and living by myself it’s very exciting this new chapter.”

Shannah has been in impressive form since her double podium at the Commonwealth Games, securing a silver at the European Championships.

She will now head to Sheffield for this week’s British Swimming Championships and says the last year has been a whirlwind,

Shanahan added: “I was so happy with my results in Birmingham to come away with two bronze medals and then improve on that at the Europeans it was amazing.

“That was definitely a summer I won’t forget anytime soon but I am looking forward.

“I really am excited to see where this season goes because I do believe I am in the best shape of my life.”

Shanahan is also eyeing a debut at next summer’s Olympic games in Paris.

She said: “Obviously my aim is just to make the team and if I do it will be my first Olympic games, which will be exciting and so so special.

“I’d just say if I were to make the team I’d be looking to enjoy the experience and take in everything I can.

“Hopefully if I can do that then going forward I can target the next Olympics in LA and really get down to business.”

Shannah is in Sheffield this week as the British Championships take place from 4th to 9th of April.

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