3:06pm Tuesday 10th April 2012
By Ryan Bangs
ELLEN Gandy may have been based in Australia since 2007 – she even had the choice to swim for her now adopted country – but the Bromley ace insists she’ll feel right at home in London this summer.
The 20-year-old secured her place on the British team for the London 2012 Olympics in style at the trials back in March, storming to gold in both the 100m and 200m butterfly.
Gandy’s performances at the British Gas Championships were to be expected after she followed up four medals at the Europeans and Commonwealth Games combined in 2010 with world silver last year.
Even the British record of 57.25s set on route to 100m butterfly gold didn’t really come as a surprise for Gandy, who was the youngest member of Britain’s swimming team at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
And unlike the perceived Plastic Brits on the nation’s athletics team, Gandy learnt her trade in the UK and only moved Down Under after her dad became executive general manager of Melbourne’s international airport.
Gandy returned to the capital this month for British Swimming’s national squad camp, training at the Olympic Aquatics Centre for a week, and she insists she’s never felt more attached to the country.
She said: “I always knew that Australia had quite a good following swimming-wise and that they really support it and when I went over my coach did ask if I wanted to swim for Britain or Australia.
“I said I will always swim for Britain so I never ever thought I would stop what I was doing. I saw moving as a continuation and progression of my career.
“The Olympics in Beijing were amazing and seeing how the crowd supported the Chinese athletes was unbelievable.
“As soon as they walked out the cheer was unreal and I can’t wait to experience that in London.
“I have no idea what to expect but I think it is going to be great.
“Being in the Olympic village and having a lot of the volunteers know you and supporting you just because you are British is going to be amazing.
“It was great to come back to London, it was a flying visit back to Australia after the trials, and we were just getting used to the Olympic pool and doing a lot of team building.”
Despite her return to the UK this month and for the Olympic Games this summer, Gandy intends on staying in Australia for the rest of her swimming career.
However, when the day does come – but at just 21 after London 2012 it might not be for a while – and Gandy does calls it day, she insists there will be plans to return to London.
“I think I will definitely move back to Britain at some point, I don’t know when, but I think probably after I finish swimming I will want to come back and work in London,” she added.
“But I am enjoying swimming where I am at the moment and the obvious benefit is mainly the weather. It is great to train outdoors, I love training outdoors in the sunshine.
“Training is so much easier and I remember when I trained in London, I found it really difficult it being dark all the time and I just find it a lot easier training when it is sunny.”
British Gas supports British Swimming at all levels and is getting the nation to show its support for Britain’s swimmers.
For more information, visit facebook.com/BGSwimming
Follow us on Twitter @NewsShopperSprt
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group