London 2012 Olympics: Liam Tancock eyes 100m glory
London 2012 Olympics: Team GB's Liam Tancock insists he is focused on securing 100m backstroke glory at the Games
Liam Tancock has dismissed suggestions he will be a fish out of water at London 2012 – even if his favourite event is not on the Olympic schedule.
The 27-year-old is a two-time world champion at 50m and the current world record holder, but is unable to race at that distance at London 2012 with 100m the shortest backstroke event contested.
But Exeter-born Tancock insists it isn’t a concern, claiming he has made considerable progress over 100m since finishing sixth in Beijing four years ago.
“It is the 50m backstroke which I am known for and I’m the world champion and world record holder in, and this is double the distance,” admits Tancock.
“But for me it is all about the 100m, it is the Olympic distance, it is what I have trained for my whole life.
“My progression over the last few years has really come on so I’m looking forward to standing behind the box, having that home crowd advantage and looking up there seeing 17,500 people. With one billion people on TV – that’s pretty cool.”
In preparation for the Games, Team GB’s swimming team have decided not to attend Friday night’s opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium, with races due to start the following morning.
And Tancock insists it is the right thing to do, in order to maximise their performances.
“It was a team decision,” he explained. “We all sat together as swimmers over the last few days and said what is going to be good for our performance? Is it going to help us?
“Swimming starts on the first day so the morning after the opening ceremony we could be up at six supporting our team, ready and raring to race.
“We probably wouldn’t get back to the village until 1am or 2am [after the ceremony] and it’s not great preparation for what we are doing.
“We train our lives for this one moment and having a poor night’s sleep the night before isn’t the best situation.
“It is all about Team GB, it is all about the performance in the pool and that is why our decision is the way it is.”
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