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Abbie Wood

Abbie Wood won a gold medal at the 2015 European Games in Baku.

History maker

When Abbie Wood made her big breakthrough by winning gold at the 2015 European Games in Baku, she was also making history. Her success in the 400m individual medley made her the first ever swimmer to top the podium at what was the championships' inaugural event.

It was a just reward for the Buxton resident, who did much of her training in her local pool and took advantage of the Derbyshire Institute of Sport (DIS) programme that enabled her to get specialist coaching, as well as strength and conditioning.

Moving to Loughborough

Since then, Abbie, who was swimming for the Derventio eXcel club, has moved to Loughborough College to study and take a place on the World Class Swimming Programme. She now swims for the Loughborough Sport team based at Loughborough University.

Her good progress has continued in her new surroundings, winning her first senior medal at the British Long Course Championships in the 40mm IM (which doubled as the 2016 Rio Olympic trials), behind Hannah Miley and Aimee Willmott.

Abbie Wood wins Sportsperson of the Year (Non School Sport) in the 2015 DSSA Sports Awards after clinching a gold medal at the 2015 European Games in Baku.

Tokyo 2020 in her sights

Abbie's long-term goal remains to swim at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and she is optimistic she can make the necessary improvements in her times to do that.

"The training programme I'm on now is definitely the hardest I've had and I'm learning all the time," she said.

"There is also a lot more S&C work for me to do but, it is going well and hopefully it will keep me improving.

"I'd like to thank the DIS for all they did during my time on the programme and ICON for their ongoing support."

Text updated: May 2016