Fran Halsall has been delivering major international medals for over eight years but ahead of the World Short Course Championships in Doha she admits she’s only just now confident in her winning formula.
Halsall claimed her first major international medal as a 15-year-old at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, winning silver in both the 4x100m freestyle and medley relays.
Now 24, she has inundated herself with podium success ever since although she suffered cruel fate when she was expected to deliver most at the London 2012 Olympics.
Her result lists reads fifth – twice – sixth, eighth and 14th, a disappointment she may never get over, but it was almost exactly two years ago where she returned to the pool with a vengeance.
Silver in the 50m freestyle at the World Short Course Championships in Istanbul in December 2012, and a change of coach to James Gibson, has seen Halsall become pretty much unstoppable.
After 50m bronze at the long course World Championships in Barcelona last year, having won global 100m silver in Rome in 2009, 2014 has seen Halsall dominate in a way she has never done so before.
She won the Commonwealth 50m butterfly and freestyle titles at Glasgow 2014 and then added the 50m freestyle and 50m backstroke crowns at the Europeans in Berlin.
A truly remarkable year can be rounded off back at the World Short Course Championships in Doha and Halsall is now in such a place that she expects to dominate in the pool.
“It’s been a really great year,” she said. “It’s so pleasing to see that I’m finally coming out with the results and times that I feel I’ve been capable of for a long time now.
“The team is in a great place at the moment and everyone is there for one another. There are so many youngsters who have come through who have a great attitude – they’re really mature and that certainly helps – even if it makes me feel a bit old now.”
© Sportsbeat 2014