Rudd is aiming to help Bowen reach potential
RISING Ivybridge swimming star Megan Bowen is being put through her paces by the man who coached Olympic starlet Ruta Meilutyte.
Jon Rudd is helping the Dinnaton teenager achieve her potential – a move which could lead her down the path to national recognition.
Meilutyte, at just 15, won gold in the women's 100m breaststroke at the London Olympics during the summer.
Rudd, head coach at city-based Plymouth Leander, stressed the move did not mean Bowen would leave Dinnaton, the Ivybridge club for which she has won many honours.
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But it does mean the 15-year-old will be eligible to represent Leander for some competitions.
Rudd said: "Megan is a talented swimmer and really, it doesn't bother me who she swims for.
"The important thing is that she is getting the resources – she's getting everything her talent deserves.
"She needed more training and work on her strength and conditioning.
"Megan's only been with us for two or three weeks and it's an interesting situation.
"I think it's been a bit of a culture shock for her – she's doing more work and she's doing longer sessions in a 50m pool."
Rudd said Bowen would be also be advised on her lifestyle, which includes diet.
The teenager will also be rubbing shoulders with Lithuanian sensation Meilutyte, plus Great Britain stars such as Antony James and Steve Beckerleg.
She will be focussing on 200m as a preferred distance, with 400m as a secondary event.
Rudd added: "Megan was offered the chance to do this previously, but turned it down, which was fair enough.
"But I'm extremely glad to have the chance to work with her.
"There is a chance of her representing Great Britain in the future – she's had quite a tough 2012, but anything's possible."
Bowen, who is 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 last March.
Bowen's star was obviously rising when she swept to victory in her age group at the ASA Southern Zonal Championships, which were held at Millfield in Somerset.
Her winning performances in the 800m and 400m titles marked her as one to watch.
Having just turned 14 at that point, Bowen was not expected to be pushing for a place at the 2012 Olympic Games.
But even qualifying for the trials was a massive achievement for Bowen and her club.