Rachael confident of landing GB spot once again
Rachael Williamson says the experience she has gained in the last two seasons will stand her in good stead when she tries to qualify for the Great Britain junior swimming team for the third year running.
The 15-year-old from Anlaby competes this week at the British Championships in Manchester alongside double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington.
With all ages pitted together at the trials, Williamson will compete in the 400m and 800m heats and could be placed in the same races as Adlington. But while the likes of Adlington and Beverley-born backstroke star Lizzie Simmonds will be looking to lay down markers for their respective senior competitions, Williamson will be aiming to qualify for her big junior event of the year in Belgrade.
The experience I have gained going to other countries gives me more experience, more confidence and a better mindset for championships like this to do what I need to do,” Williamson told HotShots
The Kingston upon Hull Swimming Club starlet needs to gain the times needed to be selected for Team GB for the European Junior Championships in Serbia.
The fact she is ranked inside the top four in the country for both distances and has already posted the qualifying time for the 400m on one occasion should give Williamson the confidence to shine. Furthermore, the Wolfreton School year 11 pupil has international medal-winning experience to call upon. She won a bronze in the 800m at the European Youth Olympic Festival in 2009 and returned to Finland a year later to win a silver in the 4x200m relay at the European Junior Championships.
Williamson competed at the bottom end of her age group at that international meet in Helsinki last summer and in the individual races she did not disappoint, finishing eighth overall in the 800m, 11th quickest in the 400m and ninth best in the 1,500m.
“The experience I have gained going to other countries gives me more experience, more confidence and a better mindset for championships like this to do what I need to do,” Williamson told HotShots.
“I've already got one of the qualifying times for the 400m which I got in January, although I will need to do that again at these Championships.”
“If you get the times for any event in Manchester they will take you, but if you don't they usually take the top two or three in the rankings.”
“I am in the top two for the 800m and the top four in the 400m so if I swim to my best I should get a place.”
“My personal best for the 800m is 8.51 and the time I need is 8.47.”
“I need to cut four seconds off my time but I think that is manageable because I managed to cut four seconds off my time last year at the Europeans itself and I am older now and doing more training.”
“It is a hard target time but they have to be to go to such a big championship and I am confident I can take the time off.”
Williamson, who was named the HotShot of the Year in 2009, has stepped up her training to 10 sessions a week, meaning her GCSE studies have to be fitted into her lunch break.
She goes into the Manchester event in good form following good showings in recent meets. By swimming the qualifying time of 4min 18.8sec for the 400m she won her race at a gala against Canada when swimming for an England talent squad.
At same event she came third in the 800m and was part of the 4x200m relay team to come second, while before Christmas she was named top girl at the Leeds Christmas Cracker Meet.