Jessica Fullalove might not be a name on everyone’s lips right now, but the Royton teenager insists that is all about to change at this week’s British Swimming Championships.
Backstroke specialist Fullalove got a taste of the big time last year when she travelled with Team GB to the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing and came home with three silver medals, having also competed at the Commonwealth Games.
This year has been relatively quiet in comparison but April sees the great and the good of British swimming return to the London Aquatics Centre for this year’s British Championships.
And with the event doubling as the selection trials for the World Championships in Russia, the European Games in Baku and the European Youth Olympic Festival in Tbilisi, 18-year-old Fullalove has her sights set on more jet setting sooner rather than later.
“I would like to get a personal best and see where that takes me. I do not want to put a limit on what I can achieve, if I can swim well and make a personal best that will put me in a good place,” she said.
“My aim is to hopefully qualify for the World Championships in Russia. I have never been to Russia before so that would be quite cool to go there – I would love to make that team.
“Everyone there will be fighting for those GB spots and it will be a bit different to the Commonwealth Games as I will be racing people I already know.
“That is good because some of us swim together – others I do not train with so it will be interesting to see what they have been working on.
“My ultimate goal is to make that Rio team next year and then, four years later in Tokyo, I want to be winning a medal. Next year it will all be about getting on that Olympic team.
“I am definitely on track. If I continue to break my personal bests then I do not see why I cannot make it to Rio.”
And Fullalove cannot wait to swim at such an iconic venue as the London 2012 arena, with the home support cheering her on as she plans her route to Rio next year.
“Racing in the Aquatics Centre will be great. It’s a great place to swim and an amazing pool to race in,” she added.
“You cannot really hear the crowd once you are racing but before you start the noise really does help carry you – it actually also makes me really nervous before I swim, though.”
Come and support the country’s best swimmers from 14-18 April at London Aquatics Centre. Buy your tickets now http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/feature/british-swimming
Image courtesy of Olympics via YouTube, with thanks.