Liam Tancock has been in the shadows of his circumstance this year: his 2007 pre-selection for Beijing courtesy of two bronze medals on sprint backstroke at the World Championships in Melbourne and his training regime since dictating that he has not yet swum a 100m backstroke race while rested this year.
Tancock set a world record of 24.47 in the 50m backstroke at Sheffield in April, indicating that a 100m effort faster than his 53.46 best is in the offing. At the British team press conference, Tancock, coached by Ben Titley, said that he was not concerned about not having swum a 100m at top speed before the Games. 'Obviously breaking the world record in the 50 backstroke shows my speed but I'm just enjoying what I'm doing. It's not all about the process at the moment, I've been enjoying my process and I believe what I'm doing is going to get the best on the day in the 100. Holding the 50m world record, I'm going to be out there at the 50 and hopefully pushing the big guys. I'm just excited to be here competing against the best in the world and I'm just going to have to see what happens.'
While taking a break from top-flight backstroke, Tancock tried his hand at medley and emerged a fighting force over 200m, his 1:57.79 at Olympic trials in April the 5th fastest ever. 'It's been an exciting year for me ... I've had a good run up in my senior career from 2005 but 2008 has been a bit different. I pre-qualified in the 100 backstroke from the 2007 world championships, so I didn't actually have to do it at the trials. I wasn't allowed to do it, so I changed my focus to the medley, still keeping the backstroke in the background but not swimming it, and did some great swims in the medley and made the Olympic team.'