A Brinscall swimmer says the heat is on as the potential stars of the 2012 Olympics battle it out for selection for the curtain raiser for the London Games.
For Ryan Bennett, 20, the past 12 months have been a rollercoaster ride from discovering his performances were affected by undiagnosed asthma in June to competing in the finals of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
Now, he is packing his bags to jet off to Tenerife for a two-week training camp with his sights set on the World Long Course Championships in the summer along with University Games – which are both in China.
He said: “It has definitely been my most successful year in my career because I made my first senior championships, got two medals in the national competitions and going to Delhi.
“If you had told me at the start of the year that I would do all these things I would not have believed you.
“I have had to adapt to new programmes in senior competition and it is more intense than I thought it would have been.
“In terms of 2011, I really want to get to the World Championships because it is a marker for the Olympics in 2012 with all the top athletes trying to make the cut for the Great Britain squad.
“It is phenomenal to be able to be in competition with the who’s who of the Olympic team.
“I am going to really make a big push for the Olympics this year because it is all that I have ever wanted.
“Even if I don’t make it, I know that University Games would be a great event for me as well.”
The former Runshaw College student says that he is really enjoying competing around the world.
“When we were in Delhi for the competition we stayed in the camp, but they organised trips out to the sights in India including the Taj Mahal.
“It is amazing to be a student and get this chance to see the sights, and I hope to see China this year.”