Tancock hunts elusive medal

With experience of performing on the big stage, Great Britain swimmer Liam Tancock says he is ready and firing to go at the London 2012 Olympic Games.


The 50 metre backstroke world record holder is a three-time world champion and a five-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist, and is used to pushing himself through the pain barrier in search of quicker times.

But the Exeter-born sprinter failed to medal at the Beijing Games in 2008 and is planning to use that experience, as well as those gleaned from other championships to good effect in London.

“I learned a lot from Beijing,” said Tancock.

“Whatever competition I go to whether it’s Commonwealth Games, World Championships or Europeans, I always try and make the most of it and take something from it.

“In my first Olympic Games, I got to three finals and absolutely loved it and now I can’t wait for the next in my home country, with home support, and Union Jacks everywhere, with people cheering for us. It’s pretty cool and special.

“The experiences I take are just standing there behind the block and knowing that I’ve been here before. I can look up at the crowd and say that there’s 17,500 people in here supporting me.

“That’s just going to be amazing and you’re not going to get that again anywhere else in the world apart from Britain.”

Tancock revealed that the 38-deep squad selected for the home Games have been pushing each other on in training as well as competition, with several members having attended multiple Olympics.

“We train together and we’re all like-minded people and all want the same dream,” confirmed Tancock.

“It gives you extra motivation and those guys push you on and I hope I do the same to them.

“We’re all ready and firing to go and we’ve trained together for a number of years now and we take things from each other – the different experiences, the highs and lows and hopefully that makes us swim faster in the pool.”

Despite being one of the senior members of the squad, Tancock denies he feels any pressure – apart from the pressure he puts on himself.

“I don’t think we’re under pressure to deliver medals, and I certainly don’t feel like it,” he said.

"The only pressure I feel is what I put myself under day in and day out in training.

"We push our bodies to the limit to swim fast. It is one of things and in sport, you’ve got one chance to do it and it’s considerably less than a minute for me and you train for years and years for this moment and you’ve got to stand out there and take it, and hope you swim fast.”

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