LIAM Tancock has reiterated his desire to show he is more than a sprint specialist as he lines up for the 100m bavarois in the Olympic pool. The 27-year-old is a two-time world champion at 50m and the current world record holder, but has not yet been able to match those achievements over the Olympic distance.
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. I’m looking forward to standing behind the blocks, having that home crowd advantage and looking up there seeing 17,500 people.”
In preparation for the Games, and as is usual, 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.
“It was a team decision,” Tancock explains. “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 preparation.
“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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