Tag Archives: butterfly

Fran Halsall and Jemma Lowe win a medal each in the World Short-Course Championships in Istanbul

Back on the podium: British swimmers come away with a pair of medals from Istanbul

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UPDATED:

01:47 GMT, 17 December 2012

Fran Halsall and Jemma Lowe claimed silver and bronze medals respectively in tonight's final session of the World Short-Course Championships in Istanbul as Great Britain came away with six top-three finishes.

Lowe took third in the 100m butterfly in a Welsh record of 56.66 seconds, while Halsall then secured an emotional silver in the 50m freestyle in 23.86secs.

The event concludes a year that had promised so much for the British team for whom expectations had been high – if at times unrealistic – going into the Olympics.

Silver: Fran Halsall gives the thumbs up after securing a silver medal at the World Short-Course Championships

Silver: Fran Halsall gives the thumbs up after securing a silver medal at the World Short-Course Championships

However, just three medals – two by Rebecca Adlington plus a superb breakthrough by Michael Jamieson – has seen the sport in the firing line.

Adlington hit out at British Swimming for not having replaced head coach Dennis Pursley while Michael Scott resigned as national performance director last month leaving two key roles vacant.

Podium: Jemma Lowe celebrates her bronze medal

On the podium: Jemma Lowe (right) celebrates her bronze medal

It was against this backdrop that the team arrived in Turkey but now they leave encouraged.

Head coach Dave McNulty told Press Association Sport: 'We've had five good days for British swimming.

'We came here with a lot of other things happening and I said “look it's time now just to swim” and with six medals in the bag, I am actually over the moon.

'It's a little bit more than I expected to be honest.'

Criticism: Rebecca Adlington, pictured at the BBC SPOTY awards,

Criticism: Rebecca Adlington, pictured at the BBC SPOTY awards, criticised British Swimming for not naming a replacement head coach quickly enough

Hannah Miley claims 200m individual medley silver at European Short Course Championship

Brit Miley claims 200m individual medley silver at European Short Course Championship

PUBLISHED:

00:47 GMT, 23 November 2012

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UPDATED:

00:48 GMT, 23 November 2012

Hannah Miley set a British record as
she claimed silver in the 200m individual medley at the European Short
Course Championships in France.

The Scot, who won silver and bronze at last year's competition in Poland, finished behind Hungary's Katinka Hosszu in two minutes 6.21 seconds, with British team-mate Siobhan-Marie O'Connor in fourth.

Making a splash: Brit Hannah Miley

Making a splash: Brit Hannah Miley

Miley, who reached three finals but
failed to find the podium at London 2012, attributed her new training
regime to the result in France.

'I've changed my training programme and it's showing it works,” she told the BBC.

'Every season we change things slightly and I'm pleased with the effect it's had.'

The 23-year-old was eighth at the end of the butterfly leg, and found herself in fourth on the backstroke before her breaststroke leg saw her first at the turn.

But Hosszu – fourth in the 400m individual medley at London 2012 – beat her on the final freestyle leg to secure gold.

London 2012 Olympics: Jesse Williams goes for high jump gold… then he"ll live the high life

Williams goes for high jump gold… then he'll live the high life

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UPDATED:

22:14 GMT, 6 August 2012

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Jesse Williams is the world high jump champion who hopes to beat Great Britain’s European champion Robbie Grabarz to Olympic gold in London.

The 28-year-old lives life to the full. He nearly didn’t qualify for the Games after coming fourth in the US Olympic trials on his home track in Eugene, Oregon, only making the team because the third-placed athlete, Nick Ross, had not jumped the ‘A’ qualifying standard.

Sportsmail columnist and double Olympic champion Daley Thompson sat down with this ‘social butterfly’ to find out what makes him tick — and how he’s hoping to find more than just a gold medal in London…

Daley Thompson: So, Jesse, explain to me what happened at the US trials.

Jesse Williams: It was very dramatic. I went in with very high expectations but — and I haven’t said this before — I was playing basketball and I rolled my ankle a week before. It wasn’t a bad sprain but it was my take-off foot and it was significant enough to affect my mental side.

Going for gold: Jesse Williams

Going for gold: Jesse Williams

Thompson: Why on earth were you playing basketball a week before the most important date of your life

Williams: I live life to the fullest, man. Last year I played basketball the week before the US champs. I just feel good after it. I’m at a point in my career where I shouldn’t be doing things like that but, at the same time, I think it’s helped me get to where I am. You got to pick your battles, of course. There’s not going to be any basketball before the Games — although I might see LeBron James and see if he’ll shoot around a little bit.

Thompson: At the trials, was that the most pressure you’ve been under in a competition

Williams: Yes, definitely. I feel like this is my year to get things done. Everything’s been going so well — it would have been a disaster for me not to make the Olympic team. That was another thing at the trials: because of the rain I changed who I was. I have to figure out how not to do that. Of course I want great weather in London but I’m expecting torrential downpours, because you have to. We have the technology, these things called spikes on our shoes, and I just need to be able to trust it. If I can do that, nothing’s going to go wrong.

Thompson: How are you at dealing with the run-up to a big competition Some people don’t like being in the Village and seeing all their competitors and stuff.

Williams: I’m kind of a social butterfly and I’m recently single so…

Social butterfly: Williams

Social butterfly: Williams

Thompson: Shall we put that in big letters

Williams: Yes! I look at everything that walks by. I want to enjoy London. I feel like in Beijing I was a little too cooped up. Our training camp was far away and it was boring. I want this to be a memorable experience from start to finish. Of course I aspire to win but I just want to have fun with it.
Thompson: What do you know about our guy, Robbie Grabarz

Williams: I met him a few years ago when we were jumping at Crystal Palace. He’s a really cool guy. He’s European champ now and every time I know he’s jumping I look out for his results. He’s going to be the guy to beat, I think.

Thompson: You think so

Williams: Definitely. He looks unbelievable right now. He’s in his own country and the medal counts from the host country always go up a dramatic amount. He’s going to be ready to jump and that crowd’s going to help him jump high.

Thompson: What kind of height do you think is going to win it Assuming the weather’s good, of course.

Williams: I’m a student of the sport. I know the results from years past from a long time. Atlanta ’96 is definitely the best Olympics the high jump has ever seen and this year could top it. There are a number of guys who could jump 2.40 metres. The Olympic record is 2.39m. Charles Austin’s record isn’t safe, that’s for sure, but I think it’s going to take at least a 2.37m or 2.38m bar to win it. It could even be 2.36m to medal.

Thompson: Robbie’s going to his first Olympics. You went to Beijing four years ago. What kind of things can get in a new guy’s way

Williams: I was just in awe of being an Olympian. I take pride in my country and it was always my goal to make an Olympic team. I feel like I’ve grown up a lot since then. I’m there to win now. Last time I thought I had an outside shot of a medal, but I didn’t even make the finals. I know it’s very realistic that I could bring home the gold medal and, when I’m confident, that’s when I do my best. This is what I’ve been looking forward to since I won the World Championships last year.

Rival: Robbie Grabarz

Rival: Robbie Grabarz

Thompson: Definitely. The Olympics is the greatest place on earth.

Williams: My family is from New Zealand and they’ve always been sports fans, so I grew up watching the Olympic Games from start to finish. I was at the ’84 Olympics. I was six months old and my parents took me. I’ve got pictures of me as a baby in the stadium. The first one I really remember is Barcelona in ’92. The US had some good high jumpers and Javier Sotomayor (who still holds the world record, 2.45m) ended up winning. I was just in awe of those guys.

Thompson: Did that inspire you to become a high jumper

Williams: Yes. But since I was young, I could just jump. I just had this thing for the high jump because I always wanted to test my limits, so it was just the perfect event for me. You feel like you can do anything when you’re jumping well. It’s an awesome feeling. It’s about timing it and doing it at the Games, that’s for sure.

London 2012 Olympics: Michael Phelps equals record medal tally in 200m butterfly

Phelps beaten to 200m butterfly gold by Le Clos… but equals record medal tally

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UPDATED:

19:06 GMT, 31 July 2012

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Michael Phelps joy at equalling the all-time Olympic medal tally was tainted by being pipped right at the death of the 200m butterfly final by South African Chad Le Clos.

The 27-year-old started the evening with 14 gold, one silver and two bronze medals over three Olympic Games since 2004.

His second place was sufficient to see him move alongside Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, whose record had stood since 1964.

Pipped to the post: Phelps narrowly missed out on the gold medal

Pipped to the post: Phelps narrowly missed out on the gold medal

However, the American has always
maintained he is not interested in medal counts and will be furious with
himself after le Clos beat him on the touch.

Gold standard: Le Clos was the big winner - taking gold in the 200m butterfly

Gold standard: Le Clos was the big winner – taking gold in the 200m butterfly

London 2012 Olympics: Empty seats at swimming venue investigation

Olympic organisers launch investigation into swathes of empty seats at swimming venue

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UPDATED:

16:45 GMT, 28 July 2012

London 2012 organisers have launched an investigation into why there were so many empty seats at different venues including the Aquatics Centre this morning.

The opening session of the swimming programme featured the first instalment of the showdown between 14-time Olympic champion Michael Phelps and friend and rival Ryan Lochte.

Missing out: Empty seats were a familiar sight on day one at the pool

Missing out: Empty seats were a familiar sight on day one at the pool

There were also a number of home swimmers competing including Hannah Miley, a medal contender in the 400 metres individual medley, former world 100m freestyle silver medallist Fran Halsall and world 200m butterfly silver medallist Ellen Gandy.

However, there were hundreds of empty seats despite all public tickets having been sold.

Michael Phelps of the U.S. prepares to start his men's 400m individual medley

A LOCOG spokesman said: 'We are aware that some venues have empty seats this morning.

'We believe the empty seats are in accredited seating areas, and we are in the process of finding out who should have been in the seats and why they weren't there.'

London 2012 Olympics: Rebbeca Adlington wins 800m

Adlington doubles up as Olympic champion books 800m place with dominant display

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 9 March 2012

Double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington overcame a bout of nerves to yet again produce a commanding performance in the 800 metres freestyle at the Olympic trials in London.

Adlington led from start to finish to book her second slot on the team after her 400m victory with 19-year-old runner-up Eleanor Faulkner also finishing inside the qualification time.

There was relief for European champion Lizzie Simmonds who qualified in the 200m backstroke after missing the cut in the 100m, while British record holder Michael Rock made it in the 100m butterfly.

Dominant: Rebecca Adlington (centre) comfortably won the 800m final to qualify for the Olympics

Dominant: Rebecca Adlington (centre) comfortably won the 800m final to qualify for the Olympics

Dominant: Rebecca Adlington (centre) comfortably won the 800m final to qualify for the Olympics

Adlington was never challenged, winning in eight minutes 18.54 seconds although she revealed she had suffered from such intense nerves before the race she had to speak to psychologist Simon Middlemass.

She said: 'I was more nervous for some reason today, I think it's because this event means so much to me.

'The 800 has always been the one I want to do well at and the one I've loved racing more than anything else so for me it was important to get in and enjoy it as well.

'But I was so nervous I had to speak to Simon my psychologist before the race and he told me to “man up”!'

While happy with the time, which was faster than the world trials this time last year, Adlington denied she was sending out a message to her rivals.

'I don't really think about other people. At the end of the day I am going to concentrate on my own race.

'I wasn't doing that for anyone else
but myself, I wanted to put in a good performance and swim what I know I
can and what I am capable of.'

Adlington also had to contend with hearing commentary done partly by her friend Jo Jackson during the race.

She
said: 'It was so bizarre. On the turns you could proper hear your name
and I was like “what's going on” – I thought something had happened, I
thought they were DQing us at the start. I'm not used to hearing people
under water!'

Streets ahead: Addlington was never in danger of losing her lead in the 800m with Eleanor Faulkner second

Streets ahead: Addlington was never in danger of losing her lead in the 800m with Eleanor Faulkner second

Streets ahead: Addlington was never in danger of losing her lead in the 800m with Eleanor Faulkner second

Faulkner has had a superb week, 400m freestyle bronze followed by third place over four lengths which prompted tears on poolside.

The City of Sheffield swimmer was alone throughout the race in second, finishing with a new best of 8mins 27.11secs.

The 2009 European junior open water
champion, Faulkner will make her senior international long-course debut
at this summer's Olympics.

She said: 'I just wanted to go out there, give it my all and make the team.

'There's
been a lot of tears. It was unexpected and I was so happy and now I
have made it on my main event I am even more delighted.

'It took some time to realise I'd made the 4×2. It's still a shock, I still can't believe I made it.'

Faulkner,
whose brother Joseph set a new best in the 1,500m freestyle heats,
added: 'Becky is an Olympic champion and she's been to these major meets
and knows what it's like.

'It was a target of mine to keep up with her and achieve my goals like she's achieved hers.'

It emerged later the reason for the
swimmers being able to hear the commentary was the underwater speakers
used in synchronised swimming had been left on after being tested.

Simmonds' dejection was plain for all
to see earlier this week after the 100m backstroke where her third
place left her precisely nowhere.

But in the 200m she went out like a train and was inside the British record at the final turn before tiring.

Lizzie Simmonds (centre) was triumphant in the 200m backstroke while Michael Rock also qualified (below)

Lizzie Simmonds (centre) was triumphant in the 200m backstroke while Michael Rock also qualified (below)

Lizzie Simmonds (centre) was triumphant in the 200m backstroke while Michael Rock also qualified (below)

Stephanie Proud could not catch her though, Simmonds finishing in 2:08.67, 1.27 ahead.

The 20-year-old said: 'Fantastic. A huge sigh of relief!

'I probably took a bit of knock really earlier in the week with that 100 although it was a decent swim.

'My coach and I had a bit of joke beforehand where we pretended it was just an open meet rather than the Olympic trials.

'It was just me having a blast. That's how I swim fast.'

Rock booked his spot in 52.02 after failing to make the 200m butterfly.

He said: 'It's been a disappointing couple of days and it was really important to regain my focus.

'There was some pressure tonight because of the 200 earlier in the week so I'm just overjoyed by everything tonight.'

Adam Brown won the 50m freestyle but 22.48 was outside the qualifying time.

Fran Halsall was quickest in the women's semi in 24.63.

In the multi-disability events, Sascha Kindred (SB7) won his third gold of the meet in the 100m breaststroke in a time of 1:23.73 which claimed him a total of 932 points.

Portsmouth's Amberley Hoar (SB14) stormed to victory in the women's race in 1:23.21 to take 940 points.

London 2012 Olympics: Ellie Simmonds breaks world record

London Olympic pool witnesses first world record as Simmonds makes medley history

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UPDATED:

21:58 GMT, 8 March 2012

For one golden girl there was just a hint of frustration as she swam the fastest time of the year. For the other there were tears of joy as she set the first world record in the Olympic pool.

Despite a second spot on the British Olympic team, a gold medal round her neck and the fastest 100 metres freestyle of 2012, Fran Halsall vowed she could do much better.

Tears of joy: Ellie Simmonds celebrates with Gemma Almond after winning gold and setting a new world record in the Women's MC 200m Individual Medley

Tears of joy: Ellie Simmonds celebrates with Gemma Almond after winning gold and setting a new world record in the Women's MC 200m Individual Medley

But for Ellie Simmonds there was pure
elation as she smashed her own 200m individual medley world record to
qualify for the Paralympics.

‘I’m chuffed,’ said Simmonds, whose
time of 3min 08.14sec was almost a second faster than her previous best.
‘I was really emotional. I have had a tough week in my other events so
to break the world record is unbelievable. I cannot believe it.’

European champion Halsall’s victory
never looked in doubt as she saw off Amy Smith to add to her success
earlier in the week in the 100m butterfly.

The 21-year-old said: ‘I’m a bit disappointed with the time but it is the fastest I have ever been at this time of year.’

Eyes on the prize: Simmonds won two gold medals in Beijing four years ago

Eyes on the prize: Simmonds won two gold medals in Beijing four years ago

Sportsmail columnist
Halsall, who won in 53.57sec, added: ‘My coach always tells me I never
turn up until the summer so, hopefully, I can go faster for the Games.’

Halsall was the only one of the eight
swimmers wearing bright pink — ‘because my dad could never tell which
one I was’ — and will aim to make it a trio of qualifications on
Saturday in the 50m freestyle.

James Roebuck became the first Brit
to qualify for three events after stunning Olympic medal hope James
Goddard to win the 200m individual medley.

Roebuck had already qualified in the
400m individual medley and 200m butterfly and stormed back in the final
length to win in a personal best time of 1:58.16. Bath’s Stacey Tadd
also reached the Games in an English record for 200m breaststroke in
2:27.60.

Rebecca Adlington and Jo Jackson book London 2012 spots

Becky's all go with Jo! Adlington and Jackson clinch 2012 swim places

Double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington made a statement of intent as she booked a spot on the Great Britain team with a dominant 400 metres freestyle victory in the Olympic trials at the Aquatics Centre.

The 23-year-old led from start to finish to touch in four minutes 02.35 seconds, faster than the time that saw her claim the Olympic title as well as silver at last year's World Championships.

Water display: Jackson and Adlington embrace after booking their London Olympic places

Water display: Jackson and Adlington embrace after booking their London Olympic places

Olympic bronze medallist Jo Jackson held off fast-finishing Eleanor Faulkner as she left behind the illness and asthma that had so affected her since autumn 2009. Former relay world medallist Jaz Carlin was fourth.

As well as Adlington and Jackson, Ellen Gandy set a British record as she and Fran Halsall made the team in the 100m butterfly.

See you in London: Double Olympic champion Adlington led home Jackson in the 400 metres freestyle

See you in London: Double Olympic champion Adlington led home Jackson in the 400 metres freestyle

The men were not to be outdone with Daniel Sliwinski and 17-year-old world junior champion Craig Benson qualifying in the 100m breaststroke to bring to 11 the swimmers who have so far booked a London berth.

Adlington was clearly emotional after a race where, although admittedly nervous, she was determined to attack.

She said: 'There is so much relief, happiness, excitement. It's an amazing feeling.

Gold and silver: Jackson and Adlington pose with their medals

Gold and silver: Jackson and Adlington pose with their medals

'I just started crying because it is four years of training, it's not just since Shanghai (2011 World Championships).

'I know the younger guys have got the next Olympics but London has always been my target and to know I am now going is the best thing in the world.'

Of swimming alongside friend Jackson, Adlington said: 'Me and Jo have so much experience together – I missed her last year when she wasn't there. We are so used to each other and we are such close friends.'

Hope: Adlington is hopeful of sealing gold in front of her home crowd this summer

Hope: Adlington is hopeful of sealing gold in front of her home crowd this summer

While Adlington's post-Beijing exploits saw her suffer a dip at the 2009 World Championships in Rome, Jackson's star rose, silver in the 400m freestyle – one ahead of Adlington – was replicated in the 800m.

Jackson's joy at her achievement over the longer distance contrasted with Adlington's tears of devastation after finishing fourth.

Jackson appeared on the brink of overtaking her friend as the queen of distance swimming in Britain.

But illness and asthma struck and it was not until this time last year she began to recover.

She said tonight: 'That last 50m I put everything into and it kind of makes the lows a little bit easier, when things haven't been going so well it puts it all into perspective.

'I've just got a smile on my face which hasn't happened for a while.'

Fran Halsall: London 2012 Olympics trials are upon us

Olympic trials are upon us… the moment all of our dreams will be defined

Everything in the past few years has been about qualifying for London 2012 but by the end of this week, the Olympic dream will be over for a lot of people.

Red alert: Halsall is focused on the coming trials

Red alert: Halsall is focused on the coming trials

The trials for the Games start on Saturday at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park, and, with just two places up for grabs for each event, there is so much pressure.

This is the week that decides your dream and I am desperate to make sure I qualify. It's just so tough racing against your friends for only a few places.

I remember from the trials for
Beijing in 2008 how horrible it was seeing the people who didn't make
the team – you can't comfort them because there is nothing you can say.

It
is really emotional because for some people, if they don't make it,
that's it, they'll retire. I'm entering three events. I've got the 100
metres butterfly on Saturday and Sunday and that will be the toughest
event for me to qualify in.

Ellen
Dandy and Jemma Lowe are in the top eight in the world. If I qualify
for that, I can relax for my main events – the 50m and 100m freestyle.
The 100m butterfly is a bit of a fun event and it's no real disaster if I
don't qualify.

It helps that that event is up first
so I have some time to get used to the pool and the venue. It takes a
while to get used to the surroundings, where to go through security,
where you're staying and where to eat. It takes some adjustment.

This
is my first big competition since the World Championships at the end of
last year, where I was pretty upset at finishing fourth in my two
strongest events. I'd had surgery in the lead-up so I hadn't trained as
much as I'd have liked.

Reach the top: Halsall is aiming to improve on her performances in Beijing four years ago

Reach the top: Halsall is aiming to improve on her performances in Beijing four years ago

Delhi belly: Halsall and her team-mates will be taking their own food while staying in London

Delhi belly: Halsall and her team-mates will be taking their own food while staying in London

Despite that, I was gutted at missing out on a medal. I don't really cry when I'm upset, I just get angry and I couldn't sleep because I was so frustrated.

Luckily my coach Ben Titley is much more pragmatic and reminded me how far I'd come in such a short space of time since the injury.

The weeks leading up to an event are
the worst for boredom because you cut down the amount of training you
do so you are well rested. We reduce the metres we swim, and the
intensity of our training.

Ready for action: The Aquatics Centre has already hosted the Diving World Championships

Ready for action: The Aquatics Centre has already hosted the Diving World Championships

The
other morning, I had a proper lie-in till about 11.30am. I slept for 13
hours and was buzzing for the rest of the day. The big downside is that
you have too much free time to worry about your upcoming event.

Also,
when you spend so much time swimming, you start to feel really weird
when you're suddenly not in the water as much. We call it 'taper blues'
when you get into a rut with your body and struggle to cope with the
change in pace.

But I seem to be coming out the other
end of that now – just in time for Saturday's racing. You have to keep
yourself distracted so I've been watching so many movies.

Time is ticking: Halsall is relishing the coming trials at the Aquatics Centre in Stratford

Time is ticking: Halsall is relishing the coming trials at the Aquatics Centre in Stratford

I even got desperate enough to watch Evita and Mary Poppins in the same day. I need one of Mary's tape measures which tells me I'm practically perfect in every way.

Decorated…

I'm thinking about getting my nails done to
take my mind off swimming, but the water washes it off.

Someone needs to invent nail varnish that stays on when you're swimming. If I qualify,

I'll get Union Flags painted on.

One of my 'perfect' talents I'll be sharing with my team-mates in London is my cooking. You don't want to eat out for eight days in a row or you'll get out of shape so a group of us are cooking meals in advance, bringing them down with a microwave and heating them up in our hotel.

Lizzie Simmonds, Emma Wilkins and I are taking a mini fridge down too and making a chilli, a bolognaise, a risotto and a few other things. Our mums are going to bring food down, too.

In fact, my mum, my dad, my brother, my grandma, my grandad, my nana and my boyfriend are all coming down to see me – quite the crowd!

I'm responsible for the chilli. I make it medium but with a bit of a kick. What we're most worried about is making sure we reheat it all properly so we don't give each other food poisoning. We don't need tummy problems like in Delhi at the Commonwealth Games!

Olympic trials are upon us… the moment all of our dreams will be defined

EXCLUSIVE: Olympic trials are upon us… the moment all of our dreams will be defined

Everything in the past few years has been about qualifying for London 2012 but by the end of this week, the Olympic dream will be over for a lot of people.

The trials for the Games start on Saturday at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park, and, with just two places up for grabs for each event, there is so much pressure.

This is the week that decides your dream and I am desperate to make sure I qualify. It's just so tough racing against your friends for only a few places.

Time is ticking: Halsall is relishing the coming trials at the Aquatics Centre in Stratford

Time is ticking: Halsall is relishing the coming trials at the Aquatics Centre in Stratford

Decorated…

I'm thinking about getting my nails done to
take my mind off swimming, but the water washes it off.

Someone needs to invent nail varnish that stays on when you're swimming. If I qualify,
I'll get Union Flags painted on.

I remember from the trials for Beijing in 2008 how horrible it was seeing the people who didn't make the team – you can't comfort them because there is nothing you can say.

It is really emotional because for some people, if they don't make it, that's it, they'll retire. I'm entering three events. I've got the 100 metres butterfly on Saturday and Sunday and that will be the toughest event for me to qualify in.

Ellen Dandy and Jemma Lowe are in the top eight in the world. If I qualify for that, I can relax for my main events – the 50m and 100m freestyle. The 100m butterfly is a bit of a fun event and it's no real disaster if I don't qualify.

Reach the top: Halsall is aiming to improve on her performances in Beijing four years ago

Reach the top: Halsall is aiming to improve on her performances in Beijing four years ago

Delhi belly: Halsall and her team-mates will be taking their own food while staying in London

Delhi belly: Halsall and her team-mates will be taking their own food while staying in London

It helps that that event is up first
so I have some time to get used to the pool and the venue. It takes a
while to get used to the surroundings, where to go through security,
where you're staying and where to eat. It takes some adjustment.

This
is my first big competition since the World Championships at the end of
last year, where I was pretty upset at finishing fourth in my two
strongest events. I'd had surgery in the lead-up so I hadn't trained as
much as I'd have liked.

Despite that, I was gutted at missing out on a medal. I don't really cry when I'm upset, I just get angry and I couldn't sleep because I was so frustrated.

Luckily my coach Ben Titley is much more pragmatic and reminded me how far I'd come in such a short space of time since the injury.

Ready for action: The Aquatics Centre has already hosted the Diving World Championships

Ready for action: The Aquatics Centre has already hosted the Diving World Championships

The weeks leading up to an event are
the worst for boredom because you cut down the amount of training you
do so you are well rested. We reduce the metres we swim, and the
intensity of our training.

The
other morning, I had a proper lie-in till about 11.30am. I slept for 13
hours and was buzzing for the rest of the day. The big downside is that
you have too much free time to worry about your upcoming event.

Also,
when you spend so much time swimming, you start to feel really weird
when you're suddenly not in the water as much. We call it 'taper blues'
when you get into a rut with your body and struggle to cope with the
change in pace.

Red alert: Halsall is focused on the coming trials

Red alert: Halsall is focused on the coming trials

But I seem to be coming out the other end of that now – just in time for Saturday's racing. You have to keep yourself distracted so I've been watching so many movies.

I even got desperate enough to watch Evita and Mary Poppins in the same day. I need one of Mary's tape measures which tells me I'm practically perfect in every way.

One of my 'perfect' talents I'll be sharing with my team-mates in London is my cooking. You don't want to eat out for eight days in a row or you'll get out of shape so a group of us are cooking meals in advance, bringing them down with a microwave and heating them up in our hotel.

Lizzie Simmonds, Emma Wilkins and I are taking a mini fridge down too and making a chilli, a bolognaise, a risotto and a few other things. Our mums are going to bring food down, too.

In fact, my mum, my dad, my brother, my grandma, my grandad, my nana and my boyfriend are all coming down to see me – quite the crowd!

I'm responsible for the chilli. I make it medium but with a bit of a kick. What we're most worried about is making sure we reheat it all properly so we don't give each other food poisoning. We don't need tummy problems like in Delhi at the Commonwealth Games!