Michael Jones MBE is the current Paralympic and European title holder in the Men’s S7 400m Freestyle, and a gold medal at the 2019 World Championships would mean the realisation of a dream to hold all three major titles at once.

About Mikey Jones

  • Age: 24 years old
  • Classification: S7
  • Disciplines: Men’s 400m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle and 50m Freestyle

Rio 2016 was his international and Paralympic Games debut and Jones burst onto the scene impressively, reaching three finals and rising to the top of the podium to claim gold in the 400m Freestyle.

After struggling with injury throughout the 2017 season, Jones returned from shoulder surgery in the spring of 2018 and was selected as a wildcard for the European Championships and did not disappoint, winning the gold medal in his preferred 400m Freestyle.

Jones has been selected as part of the GB squad heading to the 2019 World Para Swimming Allianz Championships, taking place from 9-15 September at the London Aquatics Centre.

Ahead of the championships, we caught up with 24-year-old Jones to find out more about him and get his thoughts on the upcoming event. 

Who inspired you to start competing?

Initially it was my parents who got me into competitive swimming. Then when I was at home watching London 2012 and seeing the likes of Ellie Simmonds and Jon Fox competing, that really cemented my desire to do what they do. I’m very fortunate to have reached that same level.

What keeps me going? I’ve still got the drive to prove myself. I really want to get the world record in my classification. And my love for the sport, because I really do love swimming; it’s the one place where I feel I’m an equal. 

What are you most looking forward to about the World Championships?

I’m really excited to compete in front of a home crowd. I think the atmosphere will be absolutely fantastic. Hopefully we can get a sold-out arena and a roar from the crowd when you walk out - I think that would be amazing. I’m really looking forward to it.

Who will be your toughest competition at World Championships?

For me, in my main event – the 400 freestyle – I’ve got an Israeli who will push me quite hard and an Argentinian as well, who will definitely be a challenge for me.

What are your own personal ambitions for the World Championships?

I really want to win at the World Championships. Being Paralympic and European Champion means there’s only one title I can add and then I’ll hold all of them – and that’s the World title.

What will it feel like competing in front of a home crowd?

You almost go in not wanting to disappoint them, and that in itself is motivation for me. You want to put on a great performance for them. I’m really excited.

How are your preparations for Tokyo 2020?

At the moment everything is on track for Tokyo. I had shoulder surgery back in November 2017 which was really the best time for it, because we had Europeans in 2018 and I think we said at the time that going to Europeans would be a bonus, and fortunately I was able to do that.

Since the shoulder surgery there have been a few ups and downs, but now things are going well in the pool, I’m feeling really strong and I’m getting back into the gym.

What’s your pre-race routine?

I don’t really have one. I get up in the morning at my usual time, generally around half six, and have some breakfast – scrambled eggs or beans on toast, that kind of thing, nothing too heavy.

I always pack my bag and lay my things out the night before, so I know I have everything ready to go in the morning. Then I head to the pool, warm up, and try to do my thing.

What is your ‘go-to’ song before a race?

Best of Me, Foo Fighters. It’s got a good beat to it and it’s something I can relate to.

What is your favourite book, TV series and film?

My favourite book would be Black Beauty. My favourite TV Series would be Breaking Bad and my favourite film… that’s a really hard one – there are so many good films out there – I can’t decide!

Describe yourself in three words?

Dedicated, committed and enthusiastic.

What was your nickname when you were younger?

 “Mikey Mike” which was given to me by my parents.

When you think about London, what first springs to mind for you?

That would be my dad, because he was born in the east end of London and grew up there during World War Two.

What’s your favourite thing about London?

All the variety. There’s always something going on. I’ve got some good memories of going down to London – the athlete’s parade, Buckingham Palace and receiving my MBE. London has been pretty good for me so far and hopefully it will be pretty good again come September.