Olympic clock ticks for Matt
SWIMMERS live their lives by the clock. From the ungodly hour they wake for training to the unsociably early time they go to bed, it's always ticking in their faces.
That clock is ticking loudly for Olympic team selection this week, particularly for Matthew White.
Confidence is what's needed most now that the work's been done, and for the 22-year-old the nerves have started to kick in.
He and his coach Shane Kingston have done all they can at training, with the Rockhampton-raised breaststroker hoping to book a fairytale place in London this year.
"It is going to be very close. I am trying to get in on a bronze medal," White said.
With his best times from the past season, White goes into the trials lining up for the 200m, 100m and 50m breaststroke events.
"In the 200m breaststroke I have been swimming 2.20s to 2.21s, a couple of 1.05s in the 100m and around the 29-second mark for the 50m," White said.
"This should be the fastest I have ever raced."
The Queenslander acknowledges he faces a demanding agenda at the open national meet, with his events spread across the eight days of competition.
"They are spread out across the meet," White said.
"My first event is on Thursday, with breaststroke events finishing on the final day of the competition."
His clashes with world record holders Brenton Richard and Christian Sprenger will be a highlight of the Adelaide trials, with only the first two qualifying for London.
"They have both been to the Olympics before," White said.
"I have been racing against them for the past five or so years, which makes me nervous, especially because this time I actually may have a shot."
The Olympic hopeful competed in Sydney last month at the New South Wales Open Championships, and claims to be at the top of his game.
"I swam really well. It was by far the best racing I have done in the past 12 months and that was while I was still in training, which is a really good sign.
"I competed against most of the swimmers that I will face this week," he said.
"And they were all swimming really fast, which got the nerves pumping."
Although White failed to win an individual event, his strength, endurance and all-round ability placed him in the top five of the overall rankings.
With White primed to press his claims for an Olympic berth, coach Kingston is confident he will give it his all.
"It's been a constant process for the last 12 years, with his results improving every year towards the top level," he said.
Kingston said White had been focusing on refreshing his speed and mind in preparation for tomorrow's race one of the 2012 Australian Swimming Championships.
"Making the team is the hard point, with the world's best two breaststrokers in Australia," Kingston said.
"First and foremost his goal is to do a PB (personal best).
"Everything else will take care of itself."
The Rockhampton swimming sensation will fly to Adelaide today to compete at the national championships over the next eight days.