Suffolk’s Chris Walker-Hebborn grabs a silver in relay at 2017 World Swimming Championships

Britain's silver medal winners (L-R) Chris Walker-Hebborn, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Duncan Scott wi

Britain's silver medal winners (L-R) Chris Walker-Hebborn, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Duncan Scott with their medals. Picture: AP PHOTO - Credit: AP

From working his way through two courses of antibiotics to finishing up with a silver medal, it was a rollercoaster of a meet for Suffolk’s Chris Walker-Hebborn at the 2017 World Swimming Championships.

At 27, Walker-Hebborn, who grew up in Bury St Edmunds, was the oldest male swimmer picked for the team which headed to the Hungarian capital Budapest for the event.

But his fifth World Championships did not go according to plan with a viral infection picked up in the run up to the competition seeing him laid low and requiring medical intervention.

That ruled him out of the individual 100m backstroke as well as contention for the mixed medley relay team.

He did finally get an outing in the Duna Arena pool on Sunday, first in the heats and then the final of the men’s 4x100m medley, and he was able to chip in with an opening backstroke leg of 54.20.

That was half a second slower than he managed in last year’s Olympic final but considering his week, Walker-Hebborn was just relieved to at least play his part.

“It’s been really tough competition, definitely a first for me,” said Walker-Hebborn. “I swam my way through two sets of antibiotics, I was pretty much on my deathbed at one point. That wasn’t a phenomenal swim from me but I managed to make the most of it and I’m lucky enough to be a part of fantastic team.”

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The team of Walker-Hebborn, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Duncan Scott still managed to post a new British record of 3:28.95 on the way to finishing as runners-up to America – the same result as in Rio last year.

“It’s a golden ticket being a part of this team, these guys are so talented,” added Walker-Hebborn who will now take a few weeks off before refocusing on next year’s Commonwealth Games. “As soon as I can pull my finger out and have a good run in and get back to the form that I know that I’m capable of then we will definitely be challenging for that gold medal.”

- You can help the next generation of young British swimmers by getting involved in SportsAid Week this September with five-time Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds OBE. Find out more about how you can support the week by visiting www.sportsaid.org.uk/sportsaidweek.

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