Halsall striving for 'perfect' race

24 July 2012 / 07:48

When swimmer Fran Halsall takes to the blocks for the final of the 100 metres freestyle on August 2 she will have just one objective - becoming the fastest woman in the world.

For the 22-year-old, London will be her second Olympics. Eighth four years ago in Beijing has been followed by medals at world, European and Commonwealth level.

However, the Loughborough ITC swimmer admits she would gladly bite off the hand of anyone offering her the gold medal in the 100m freestyle, her favoured event, over any other despite also competing in the 50m free and 100m butterfly as well as relays.

She said: "Definitely. It would be nice to be the fastest woman in the world.

"That's the main thinking behind it. If I got one medal it would be brilliant but a gold in the 100 free, that would be the ultimate for me. It's the blue riband event. And it's going to be so close. There are a lot of girls, in a certain bracket, who could win it."

Ranomi Kromowidjojo heads the world rankings in both the 50m and 100m, setting textile world records in each event in April. The Dutchwoman was noticably faster on the second length than the time which brought her bronze ahead of Halsall at last year's World Championships as she set a time of 52.75.

It meant she became the first woman to dip below 53secs in textiles. Australian Libby Trickett did so in 2007 but that was in a mixed relay, and in a lane beside 14-time Olympic champion Michael Phelps, and was never officially recognised.

Kromowidjojo's time is 0.12secs faster than Halsall's 2009 best, in the midst of the shiny suit chaos, meaning a new best may well be required.

Halsall said: "Yes but that's the point of the Olympics. That's what the game is, to swim faster than you've ever swum before.

For various reasons I've not swum as quick as I can over the last couple of years. I've swum fast but not to my potential. But I've enjoyed a great preparation for these Games, and if a performance comes out on the day I will be there or thereabouts."