Rising swimming star Megan Bowen praised for her commitment by Plymouth Leander chief Rudd
TOP UK coach Jon Rudd has praised swimming prospect Megan Bowen for her commitment.
Bowen, just 15, has just agreed to be coached by Plymouth Leander boss Rudd, with the aim of boosting her potential.
The Ivybridge teenager can stay with her local club, Dinnaton – but is eligible to appear for Leander in certain events.
Rudd, who is also director of swimming at Plymouth College, said he was delighted to get a chance to coach the teenager.
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Bowen gets a chance at the big-time at the beginning of next month when she takes part in the British International Open at Leeds.
She is part of a group of swimmers from Leander who will be aiming to qualify either for the Youth Olympic Festival in Holland or the European Junior Championships via the Open at Leeds.
Rudd said Bowen had adjusted well to being in a new training and coaching set-up.
He said: "Megan's doing okay – she's coming along slowly but surely.
"It's a bit of a culture change for her in a different environment, but she's dealing with it really well.
"If she's to get her feet under the table, with the additional training, then it's all going to take a bit of time.
"I think she made the move (to training at Leander) at the right time – she's just the right age to give it a try."
Rudd said the teenager fitted in well with Leander's set-up.
He said: "I am enjoying coaching her and it feels like she's been with us for years.
"Everybody feels comfortable and she gets on very well with the other girls."
"She's a dynamic member of the team and if it isn't Leeds where she gets selection for Great Britain, then with the amount of hard work she's putting in, it'll be somewhere else."
Bowen is in the same set-up as Lithuanian Olympic gold medallist Ruta Meilutyte and great Britain swimmers Antony James and Steven Beckerleg.
She will be focusing on 200m as a preferred distance, with 400m as a secondary event.
Bowen, 16 this year, became the first Dinnaton Swimming Club member to compete at the Olympics trials.
That followed her qualifying for the British Gas Swimming Championships in the 800m and 400m events.
The trials took place at the London Olympic Pool nearly a year ago.
Having just turned 14, Bowen was not expected at that stage to be pushing for a place at the 2012 Olympic Games. But even qualifying for the trials was a massive achievement.