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Monday, July 23, 2012

Erika Villaécija García Poised, Primed And Prepared

Erika Villaécija García of Spain, a dark horse in the Olympic marathon swimming 10km is poised, primed and prepared to enjoy the races of her life in the 800m pool and 10km open water swims in London.

She is as positive as they come.

The 27-year-old Olympian from Barcelona told Efe, "I’m calm. Athens were good [Olympic] Games for me. Those in Beijing, on the other hand, were bad. But without knowing why, the calm I feel now gives me the feeling that in London all will go well.

As for me, at least I know that this year I’ve done all I could, I’ve trained well to get results. We’ll see what happens now.

I’m calm but enthusiastic because the season has gone well, my latest training sessions have gone well and I know I’ll get to London in really good shape. I’ve improved on the gymnasium part and my rhythm and that has done a lot to improve my speed."

Having the right balance between endurance and speed is critical for her to earn the right to stand on the Olympic podium. In her third Olympics, she knows that this may be her last and best chance to medal. "I decided it was better to compete in both races, because two chances are better than one. In the 800 meters, the first step will be getting to the end swimming as fast as possible. I always train to win a medal."

While her 800m strategy is to finish fast, her strategy in the 10km takes a page out of gold medal favorite Keri-Anne Payne's book. "In the 10 km I’ll try to lead all that way and be in a good position for the sprint."

She has the tools - speed, endurance and strategy - to surprise many and fulfill her long-held Olympic aspirations.

With the swim of her life and a calm under the potentially overwhelming pressure at the Olympics, Villaécija may be crying at the end of the race with tears of joy.

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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