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Team GB swimmers ready for Games

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26th July 2012

Team Leader Michael Scott insists his British swimmers are in line to continue their progress from the last Olympics in Beijing four years ago.

The Brits secured an impressive six medals in China – their best Olympic medal haul since also winning six in 1912 – with three in the pool and three in open water.

We missed out on three medals by a very small margin in Shanghai so we are working on the small things which make a difference.

And having continued to impress at the highest level with eight medals at the 2009 World Championships and six at last year’s Worlds, Scott believes the British team can carry on their form into London.

“We have continued to build on our momentum from Beijing,” said Scott. “We have a great team and a united team of swimmers and staff.

“We have been focussing on the small things. We missed out on three medals by a very small margin in Shanghai so we are working on the small things which make a difference.”

Backstroke star Liam Tancock is one of the British swimmers to have improved steadily since making the 100m Backstroke and 200m Individual Medley finals in Beijing.

The 27-year old won the 50m Backstroke title at both the 2009 and 2011 World Championships, set the reigning 50m Backstroke world record and won the 50m and 100m Backstroke double at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

And while the 50m Backstroke isn’t an Olympic event, Tancock is adamant his rivals should write him off at their peril when it comes to double the distance.

“It's the 50m Backstroke which I'm known for and the world champion and world record holder,” said Tancock.

“But 100m is the Olympic distance and it's what I've 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 blocks with that home crowd advantage, looking out at the 17,500 people - that's pretty cool.

“Team GB swimming has grown in strength over the years. Beijing was the best we've ever had and it was amazing to be a part of that for me.

“The years in between we've got better and better. It's a fantastic team to be a part of and we're just excited to get out there and race.”

James Goddard is another of the British men with genuine medal aspirations, having finished fourth in the 200m Backstroke in 2004 and sixth over 200m Individual Medley four years ago.

Like Tancock, the 29-year old won double gold (200m Backstroke and 200m Individual Medley) at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 but will only line up in one of those events – the 200m IM – in London.

It's just me and the pool and as long as I can focus on my own race plan and swim to it, then I'll see what I can do.

And while he has USA’s swimming superstars of Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte as well as European champion Laszlo Cseh standing in his way, Goddard insists he won’t be overawed.

“It’s an honour to be in the same races as Michael Phelps who is, in my opinion, the greatest sportsman of all time, and two of the best all round swimmers of all time in Lochte and Cseh,” said Goddard.

“But I focus on my own race. It's just me and the pool and as long as I can focus on my own race plan and swim to my race plan then I'll see what I can do.

“I've had a very consistent training block recently so I'm looking forward to it.”

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