LONDON, England, September 28. LIAM Tancock, whose best event is the non-Olympic 50 backstroke, isn't following Olympic teammates Gemma Spofforth and Rebecca Adlington into full or semi-retirement, telling SportsBeat that he's fully committed to representing Great Britain through 2016.
Tancock, the double world champion and world record holder in the 50 long course backstroke, has yet to win a medal in the 100 backstroke at a world or Olympic Games, which could be one reason why the Brit is still focused on competing. He said he's taking the next four years one at a time, focusing on each major competition as they come.
“I look at it as four more years' time,” said Tancock, now 27 years old . “It's a lot of hard work, hard training, dedication and commitment, but I love the sport.”
Tancock will be looking to defend his 50 backstroke world title next summer in Barcelona, an event he won in 2009 and 2011. After that is the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Glasgow, Scotland. That meet is what is keeping Adlington from fully committing to retirement, and Tancock has motivation for the meet as well, having won the 50 and 100 backstrokes at the 2010 meet.
Besides winning the world 50 backstroke title in 2009 in a world record time of 24.04, Tancock has been within reach of a medal in the 100 backstroke at the past two Olympic Games. He was sixth in 2008, two tenths away from third. In 2012, he placed fifth, four tenths away from a bronze medal.
With Great Britain's medley relay improving dramatically to a fourth-place finish in the London Games, the possibilities of Tancock winning an Olympic medal in 2016 look bright.
“I want to succeed and I want to push my body to the limit,” he said. “I'm not looking any further than Rio, I think that will be my last meet, but I'm going to give everything to get there.”
Video of Tancock's interview with SportsBeat: