Going into 2012 Olympic Games in London there was a lot of expectation put on both Fran Halsall and Hannah Miley to win medals on home soil. Both athletes did not handle those expectations well and had disappointing performances at the games. Halsall placed fifth in the 50 freestyle, sixth in the 100 freestyle and failed to make the 100 butterfly final. Miley came fifth in the 400 IM and seventh in the 200 IM.
But both athletes have put London behind them and are looking towards the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. They have started that journey off well with great results at the Short Course World Championships where Miley won a gold in the 400 IM and a bronze in the 200 IM while Halsall took the silver in the 50 freestyle.
“Knowing I’m still a fast swimmer feels really good,” Halsall told the Mail Online. “I gave myself a little pat on the back, if you like. I’m really happy.”
“It took me a couple of months to get over the Olympics. There was a lot of upset and blame; of thinking I’m not good enough. I couldn’t deal with the fact I wasn’t good enough and it wasn’t a very nice feeling.”
“But I took ownership of it and I swam fast again. That was all me. It’s not an Olympic medal but I had to differentiate between Fran the swimmer and the person. You can’t live your life like that.”
Both swimmers have learned from their 2012 experience and appear to be refreshed and already looking ahead to Rio.
Miley told the Guardian earlier in the year that, “You want to go back into training with renewed passion.”
She has done just that and has started to make changes in her training and how she deals with competitions, “I always work by the theory if you do what you’ve always done then you’ll get what you’ve always got,” Miley said in an interview with the BBC’s Nick Hope.
“I’ve changed when I sleep and also experimented being a little heavier.”
“I used to love having a few hours sleep between sessions, but now I’m trying more 20-30 minute power naps. I feel like I have much more energy during the day.”
“I’ve also tried to gain a little more weight because I always start at about 53kg and I’m trying to gain a little and move up to around 55-56kg.
“It makes me a little bit more robust and it means I can fight off a few more illnesses and colds.”
Halsall also made changes to her training, big ones. She has now entrusted her preparation to coach James Gibson and by all accounts has been extremely excited with her new program.
She told the Mail Online even though she thinks she is getting a little long in the tooth there is still a little something left in the tank, “I’m not too old just yet,” said Halsall. “I’m looking forward to Rio in four years’ time.”