Lloyd to relish big stage at Olympics

Great Britain’s Jessica Lloyd may be known as Nemo, but the swimmer is determined to make a big impact in the London 2012 pool at her first Olympic Games.

Eurosport

The 17-year-old from Oldham, is one of the youngest members of the squad and secured her place in the 4x100 metre relay squad by finishing fourth at the Olympic trials.

Selection is just reward for Lloyd’s doggedness after she admitted it was a battle to even get into her local swimming club as a youngster.

“I’m really proud to be representing Manchester at the Games,” said Lloyd.

“I actually struggled getting into the Manchester Aquatics Centre club and now I’m swimming at the Olympics, so it’s reward for perseverance.

“It’s starting to become more real. The days are counting down. We have a big clock in Manchester Aquatics Centre and it has the days on it.

“I popped up and the numbers just dropped down and down. It helped me make train harder, though.”

Her time of 54.95 seconds in the semi-final at the GB trials was the seventh-fastest 100 metre freestyle time by a British woman in history.

And Lloyd will be hoping for more of the same when she takes to the pool for the relay in London alongside the likes of Fran Halsall, Amy Smith, Rebecca Turner and Caitlin McClatchey.

“I would have loved to have done the individual events, but I really think that we have a chance of winning at least a bronze medal,” said Lloyd.

“I’m working on going out a bit faster in my race as I’m known for negative splitting in my race. It’s incredible for a 100m swimmer, but if I can go out fast enough, then I can still bring it back on the same time. So hopefully I’ll get a personal best while I’m there.

“We haven’t got a captain, it’s just the four of us and we don’t know the order. We’ll probably sort that out soon, though I think Fran will lead the team.

“Amy is the other individual freestyle swimmer, but to be honest, I’ll just go with the flow. I’m the new bod – everyone calls me Nemo because I’m the young one. Me and Fran are the crazy ones of the team.

“We do have a lot of pressure, but we can handle it. The pressure also helps you with everybody behind you, as they’re pushing you on – not over a cliff, but towards the podium.”

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