Scott: Swimmers have to earn their place
March 2, 2012 19:44 pm
British Swimming national performance director Michael Scott has endorsed Rebecca Adlington's approach to the forthcoming Olympic trials with the double Beijing champion refusing to see qualification for the Great Britain team as a formality.
The Mansfield-born swimmer has always insisted she does not expect to simply ease through to the home Olympics but believes she will face two tough challenges over 400 metres and 800m freestyle at the Aquatics Centre.
Adlington faces the likes of Olympic bronze medallist Jo Jackson, former world relay medallist Jaz Carlin as well as prospects such as former European junior champion Anne Bochmann.
In the 16-length event the challenge will come from best friend Keri-Anne Payne, Carlin and Eleanor Faulkner. Jackson, the 2009 world silver medallist, will also compete although it is unclear how much emphasis she will put on the event given her health problems which she now seems to have overcome.
For Scott, the 23-year-old's approach is the correct one, saying: "I think that is such a positive. No swimmer is taking selection for granted - it is something they have to earn.
"It is a two-phase process: you have to get selected first. So our two-time defending Olympic champion knows she has to earn her spot.
"I think it shows a respect for the other swimmers in Britain. She knows she has to be on her mark. She can't think about London 2012 until she qualifies. There is no automatic ticket."
Head coach Dennis Pursley added: "It is typical of top athletes worldwide. The sport is so competitive now you don't find them taking it for granted."
The eight-day British Gas Swimming Championships start on Saturday morning with qualification for the men's 400m individual medley the first to be decided on Saturday evening. World silver medallist Hannah Miley and Payne, already qualified in the open water, attempt to book spots in the women's event.
To qualify for the GB team swimmers must finish in the top two with the winner having to meet the stipulated FINA A time while the runner-up must post a world-ranked top-16 time.
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