Sliwinski drawing inspiration from Ali

Dan Sliwinski isn't short of confidence in his own ability but he's following the advice of the most self-assured sportsman of them all after booking his place at the Olympics.


The 22-year-old has endured a difficult couple of years with injury but with a place in the 100m breaststroke in London in the bag, he is planning to take Muhammad Ali's advice in making every second count.

The Louisville Lip famously took Olympic boxing gold in Rome 52 years ago - and having upset the form book at the British Gas Swimming Championships, Sliwinski will have the chance to emulate him in London.

He said: "Muhammad Ali said 'make the days count, don't count the days' so I have to make the most every day and let the clock tick down itself.

"I broke my wrist in the 2009-10 season due to an accident on a sun bed on a British Swimming training camp, in the 2010-11 season I broke my other wrist boxing so in those two seasons it was a case of scraping anything we could out of them.

"All in all each injury makes it harder to come back - after the first one you think it will make you stronger but after that you think am I going to be injury ridden and not achieve my potential?

"It has been tough but this has been my first uninterrupted pre-season in three years and it has shown.

"It is the quickest I have been in three years, which is nice, but it is important I keep the ball rolling now into London and not just be there as a competitor - I am in it to win it."

With his injury problems behind him Sliwinski was in sensational form at the Olympic Aquatics Centre in London, romping to victory in one minute 00.09 seconds to claim 100m breaststroke gold.

And, having finished at a training camp with the rest of the British team at the same venue last month, he is adamant that home support will make all the difference in London.

He added: "Competing at a home Olympic Games is like Manchester United competing at Old Trafford - if a team is successful they will play their best at home.

"I think if I am at home I will be able to swim my best so that is an advantage you have to make the most of and not be nervous that there are 17,500 people cheering you on. Rather you should be looking at the crowd and gaining energy from them.

"The British Gas Championships went well for me. I got what my target was and for me personally the hardest bit was making the Games. For me anyone who is there has a chance.

"Swimming my dream race is my goal, I want to leave the Olympics knowing I have done everything and put in all the work I could have."

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