One stroke at a time for Gandy

24 July 2012 / 16:54

Four years ago in Beijing swimmer Ellen Gandy was the baby of the Great Britain team.

Turning 17 during the Games - which was "pretty cool" - the butterfly specialist was admittedly overwhelmed by the Olympic experience. However, lessons learned in China, and subsequent experience - some of it painful - have helped propel the 20-year-old to becoming a very real medal prospect in London.

Gandy has already made history as the first British woman ever to win a butterfly medal on the global stage when she claimed silver in the 200m at last year's World Championships in Shanghai.

Neither has a British woman reached the Olympic podium but Gandy has two chances in the 100m and 200m with fellow Britons Fran Halsall and Jemma Lowe completing a strong line-up for the host nation at the Aquatics Centre, with the trio part of Bill Sweetenham's former Smart Track programme.

The former Beckenham swimmer, now based in Melbourne, is in the top four for both events in the 2012 rankings although the Games begin with a clean slate. Gandy subscribes to such a theory and repeats the oft-cited athlete's mantra that she is concerned only with what she can control, which is her own performance.

Gandy told Press Association Sport: "I'm prepared to swim my best race in the finals of the 100m and 200m fly so I'm just taking things one step at a time and focusing on getting into the finals first of all and then doing what I've trained to do in the final.

"I do feel pressure but only the pressure I put on myself to do what I know I can do. I don't really take too much notice of other things because I can't control anything that anyone else does or says, so why worry about it?"

Gandy will race on Saturday in the first day of competition in the 100m butterfly and although slight and composed out of the water, she has faith in herself as Britain look for a good start.

"I'd say I was a quietly confident person," she said. "You have to be confident to stand up and put yourself on the line as an athlete, you dedicate your whole life to performing at a competition, so you have to be confident in your own abilities."