Kacey Pilgrim
Kacey Pilgrim

Commonwealth gold for Kacey Pilgrim

A DAY after returning with two Junior Commonwealth Games gold medals, former Ballina Emmanuel swimmer Kacey Pilgrim has hit the pool to prepare for this weekend’s FINA World Cup event in Sydney.

"I hope I can stay awake," she said yesterday before re-commencing training with mum and coach Jenny.

The 15-year-old was suffering jetlag after Monday’s flight back from India, but was still on a high following her hugely successful campaign at the Games in Pune.

Although the youngest member of Australia’s swim team for the 18 years and under event, Pilgrim collected four medals.

She took gold in the 50m freestyle in 25.79sec, breaking Jodie Henry’s eight-year-old games record in the process.

Pilgrim also collected another gold with the 4 x 100m team and two silvers in the 200m individual medley and the 4 x 200m relay team.

"When I was going over I thought I wouldn’t even make a final ... and winning a medal would’ve been luck," Pilgrim said.

"So getting gold was great.

"I just thought it was going to be really tough especially with me being that young[(compared to the 18-year-old British swimmers]."

Pilgrim had spent three months preparing for what was the biggest meet of her young career, but hadn’t expected to swim so fast in the 50m freestyle.

"I shaved 0.2sec off my personal best ... that’s pretty big in the 50m," she said.

"I knew I could do a ‘PB’, but to get the record was good too.

"I prepared for this meet for a long time and work hard."

Pilgrim’s times have also earned her a start in the 50m, 100m 200m freestyle, 200m medley and 50m butterfly events alongside Beijing gold medallist Bronte Barratt.

"It will be tough," Pilgrim said.

"I’ll just try and get some ‘PBs" – anything else is a bonus."

But there is a big week ahead with Jenny – who has recently been appointed head coach of the St Mary’s swim team – overseeing her preparation.

The Pilgrim family will remain based in Sydney but plan to return to Ballina for Christmas.

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