Fearless Halsall ready for Games

02 June 2012 / 07:10

Former world silver medallist Fran Halsall insists the prospect of lining up in lane four of the Olympic 100 metres freestyle final would hold no fear having come through her disappointment at the World Championships in Shanghai last year.

The Loughborough ITC swimmer found herself in the unaccustomed position of fastest into the final in China but was edged out of the medals, finishing joint fourth as Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen and Aliaksandra Herasimenia shared the title.

The 22-year-old could not hide her disappointment, although she took comfort from the fact she had undergone ankle surgery the previous November which had severely disrupted her training. She was also under her ideal racing weight of 60/61kg and thus her strength and power in the water was affected.

So, having reflected, and spoken to British Swimming psychologist Simon Middlemiss, Halsall believes she would be better equipped to handle the expectation levels at a home Olympic Games.

Halsall said: "He (Middlemiss) said, 'well, you've had that experience now, you know what it feels like to be put up on a pedestal to win and then not to win. That's happened and nothing ridiculously bad has happened because of that, so what are you complaining about?'

"I've thought about it and what I could put into place mentally if I got into that position again, which could easily happen. I would be a lot more prepared for it.

"The worst has happened, it's taken the scariness out of it, the scare factor has gone. I came fourth - the worst position to come - out of lane four in a World Championship final - and I am still here and still smiling."

The Southport-born swimmer will be busy this summer at the Aquatics Centre. As well as the 100m, Halsall will contest the 50m freestyle, the 100m butterfly, the 4x100m freestyle relay and in all probability the 4x100m medley relay.

An ebullient, infectious character, she underlined her credentials in the 50m at the Olympic trials in March when her time of 24.13 seconds equalled Inge de Bruijn's textile world record from Sydney 2000.