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OLYMPICS: Carlin savours qualifying pressure
9:00am Wednesday 20th June 2012 in All the highlights of our Wiltshire Olympians
WILTSHIRE swimmer Jazz Carlin is hoping the pressure of it being ‘last-chance saloon’ for her London 2012 hopes can drive her towards a Games place in Sheffield tonight.
Former Wootton Bassett School pupil Carlin, a bronze medallist for Wales at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, missed out on an Olympic berth at the first trials held in March as she struggled to recove from a previous bout of glandular fever.
Having missed out in both the 400m and 800m freestyle events, the 21-year-old was thrown a lifeline when just one of the two Team GB spots in the 200m freestyle were filled.
The second place will be confirmed at this week’s trials, with the 200m heats and final taking place this morning and evening respectively.
The equation for Carlin is simple – to win the final and finish inside the FINA A standard time (1:58.33), the Swansea-based competitor’s personal best set two years ago being a fraction inside that at 1.58.29.
In yesterday morning’s heats, Carlin qualified eighth fastest for last night’s final, clocking 2:02.50.
“I love racing and pressure and I think I swim at my best when the stakes are high, and that's going to be the case at the trials,’’ said Carlin.
“I’m feeling really good at the moment. I started my taper down last week ready for the trials so the volume and intensity of sessions has been dropping off gradually.
"It's been a bit different training for the 200 metre freestyle without the 400 and 800 metres as well but it's been a chance to really practice my starts and turns, which are not as crucial for a distance swimmer.
“Training has been going really well, I feel good and I haven't been ill. I couldn't have put in more preparation and now I'm just going to go for it.’’
Carlin gave an encouraging glimpse of her form with medal finishes at the recent Mare Nostrum in Barcelona and she added: “The 200 free is a very stretched event in Great Britain, and competition is tough, but the support I’m getting from family, friends and the public is unbelievable.
“I know that in that last 50 metres the thought of all the support will spur me on.
“Although Jemma (Lowe) and Georgia (Davies, training partners) have qualified already they'll be swimming in Sheffield as well and it's good to have them there.
“All the Welsh swimmers are so close and we always stick together and support each other. I’m just going to go out and give it everything.’’
MORE NEWS FROM WILTSHIRE'S OLYMPIAN IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES AND AT THE SPECIAL OLYMPIC SECTIONS ON THE WEBSITES GAZETTEANDHERALD.CO.UK AND WILTSHIRETIMES.CO.UK