A WIRRAL-BORN champion swimmer holds the hopes of the borough as she arrives in Tokyo for the Olympic games this week.

Freya Anderson had been expected to target success at the Paris Olympics in 2024, but after winning six medals at last month's European Championships, including five golds, she arrives in Japan with medal hopes, three years ahead of schedule.

And the 20-year-old has been doing everything in her power to focus on the biggest moment in her young sporting career and keep her 'eyes on the prize'.

Speaking at the Team GB 'kitting out' day, she said: "This really feels like a milestone for me. It really start to feel real now. I can't wait to get out there.

"I've got to get my head down and make sure that I'm sleeping well and eating well, pretty much wrap myself in cotton wool. I don't want to get any injuries illnesses or anything.

"I just need to keep my eyes on the prize, I guess."

Wirral Globe: Freya Anderson during the kitting out session for the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Photo: PAFreya Anderson during the kitting out session for the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Photo: PA

Just reaching the Olympics is an achievement in itself for the 100m and 200m freestyle star, who used to cry and scream when her mother took her to swimming lessons in Wirral.

Anderson trained at Ellesmere College in Shropshire before relocating away from her Wirral home last year to develop at the University of Bath with Dave McNulty, who has guided Jo Jackson, Michael Jameison and Jazz Carlin to Olympic medals.

The move proved to be a masterstroke and now the Upton-born swimmer feels ready to take on her biggest challenge yet, no matter what obstacles the pandemic might throw her way.

She said: "I've spoken to a lot of the older athletes on the team that have (already) been to the Olympics. It's good to get that insight. But I guess with this Olympics coming up, it's going to be completely different.

"I'm just going to go into it ready to adapt to anything that gets chucked our way.

"It's all about keeping a level head."

The Tokyo Olympics 202 start on Friday, July 23 and run until Sunday, August 8.

Stream every unmissable moment of Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 live on discovery+, The Streaming Home of the Olympics.