30th July 2008 - Training Camp, France
We finally reached Font Romeu on the 28th, ready for what should be the best quality training I could possibly get before the Games. We arrived late on Monday with 8 athletes, 6 Czech fencers, 4 coaches, 1 physio/masseur/osteopath and a doctor. After a quick bite to eat and a few games of Buzz on the playstation we were off to bed. Tuesday was a fairly relaxed day as an introduction to the altitude, nothing too stressful but I can guarentee it won't be too long before that changes.
It's Wednesday today and after being smashed around in the fencing by the Czechs for a couple of hours we headed to the pool where the swimming was a little more punishing but still not pushing things too hard. The weather up here is gorgeous and everyone heads up to the roof after lunch for a bit of tanning, jaccuzzi and the odd board game before the afternoon's training.
22nd July 2008 - BOA Press Day, Greenwich, London
The final GB media day is done and dusted before we set off for our final preparations in Font Romeu next week. An early 6 o'clock start and a long drive but all in a good cause. A good turn out, including BBC, Sentanta and even a Chinese tv channel! I shall post photos from the day in 'My Gallery'. We're now heading home to squeeze in the training we can to what's left of the day.
17th July 2008 - European Championships, Moscow
The last competition before the Olympic Games and the main concern here is the skills. After an average start in the shooting of 173 I was a little frustrated but it was the story which has followed me all season. It was a slow start to the fencing but after a few rounds I got going and finished joint second with 964 pts, a good confidence builder heading into Beijing. It was swimming next and always a confident high scoring discipline. A comfortable time of 2.00.6 again boosting confidence and giving an indication exactly where I was in the Beijing preparations.
This left me in 5th before the run with over a minute to spare to being run out of qualification, usually an undoubted qualification position. A lot of running for the ten days before the event had put a lot of stress on me, more than I had thought. I started with confidence on my mind that I had put in the running miles but the race told a completely different story, leaving me out of a qualification position and a little confused. With my confidence in my running completely out of the window it's back home A.S.A.P and back out on the road to put in further miles. This is where a lot of the work is going to have to be put in over the next 4 weeks.
1st July 2008- Beijing Selection
Today I turned 22 but no birthday present could top the official announcement of my team selection for Beijing. A hard year of qualification paid off and now I'm set out for the hardest training of my career. Thanks to everyone for their support.
5th June 2008 - World Championships, Budapest
World Championships and the last opportunity to score valuable world ranking points for Olympic selection. An early start and the usual tense feeling at breakfast. The shooting still causing me real problems and finishing with a very disappointing 163 and at 9 o'clock in the morning knowing you're almost certainly out makes it tough to motivate yourself. I went into the fencing knowing I was in a difficult position down in the 30s and would have to produce a fence around 1000 pts to give me a chance to make the final. It wasn't to be, 856 was again disappointing and wouldn't be enough to keep me in touch with the top of the field. The swimming event gained me some places with me recording the fastest time in my semi final of 1.56.4 and a bucket load of points. It wasn't enough to put me in contention of making a qualifying position and ran in saving energy for the relay two days later. A sad end to my Olympic campaign but all that could be done was done and it was now a waiting game.
The relay brought us more luck. A solid day across all events and excelling in the pool gave us the fastest time of the day. We started and finished the run in 7th, our best relay position for a long time. Promising for a squad that is only just starting to see our best years.