Upbeat: Roy-Allan Burch. *File photo
Upbeat: Roy-Allan Burch. *File photo

Roy-Allan Burch believes he is the ‘best he has ever been’ as he enters the final preparations for his third Commonwealth Games.

The 28-year-old two-time Olympian expects his experience to be a key factor when he takes to the blocks in the 50m and 100m freestyle at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow.

Charlotte-based Burch competed in Manchester (2002) and Delhi (2010) and has benefited recently from being part of South Carolina’s SwimMac Team Elite squad alongside the likes of five-time Olympic gold medallist Ryan Lochte.

He feels that with the progress he has made, it would be disengenuous to deflect attention away from his ambitions of making an impact and even making the podium in Scotland.

“I want to go there and do well in my two events but I really want to push for a medal in the 50m freestyle,” he told the Bermuda Sun. “I am doing some special things in training and I am better than I have ever been.”

He added: “I am going there to push for a medal — it’s what I have always wanted to do. At the 2002 Games it was my first international competition and I was 16. Now, I have come back and I have all this experience and I expect to push to that level [podium] — and my goal is to get that.

“When you get to the race you have to be in the right place. If there is any doubt in my ability, I won’t do as well as I should.”

Burch, who will be joined in the pool by Bermuda’s only other swimmer in the squad, Julian Fletcher, started tapering off his training a week and a half ago but enthused about a successful kick session on Monday and his speed work with US star Lochte yesterday.

“I’m just trying to stay on it and keep my focus and think about past races of me winning and doing well,” Burch said. 

“I am not nervous at this point, I’m just trying to approach this competition and really lay out all my experience and approach it the way I want, stay a little more relaxed and when the time comes to be intense and focused I will be able to do that.”

He added: “I actually beat Ryan up a bit on the speed work, which I would expect to do [Lochte specializes in longer distances]. 

“But when you have some like that around and you expect to beat him you can take that into competition at the same level.

“When you are working with the best in the world you can expect to be at that level. I expect to make the best of myself and I train as hard as possible.”