Selston swimmer stronger than ever ahead of Rio 2016
The disappointment of missing out on a place at London 2012 has made Molly Renshaw a stronger competitor - and her times are getting faster.
That’s according to her mum, Jane, who felt an overwhelming sense of relief when her 20-year-old daughter was selected to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Selston swimmer Molly had a nervous wait to see if her personal best time at the British Swimming Championships 2016 would see her on the plane to Brazil.
She knocked three-tenths of a second off her previous British record with a time of 2:23.56 in the 200m breaststroke final to claim a silver medal at the meet.
But both Molly and surprise winner Chloe Tutton were not guaranteed a place in the Olympics squad, with their times falling outside the qualifying standard.
Yet both fell in to the consideration time set by the British Olympic Association and were of the 15 to make the 26-strong squad through that process.
“When the call came, it was more relief,” said Jane. “We’d been hanging around for a week waiting to see if she would get selected, so I must admit, as a parent, it was relief.
“I’ve seen her go through the mill. She was so close four years ago and I think she had got it in her head that she won’t have been selected this time.
“She swam really well but didn’t hit the automatic qualification time. She got in the consideration time and had to wait on the selectors’ decision. We’re obviously pleased.
“The process could be easier. Only eight qualified automatically. It’s a very hard process, it’s probably the hardest in the world to qualify for the Olympics.
“The times are a lot faster than the rest of the world at qualifying and the trials were a little down-beat. There were not a lot of people celebrating.
“If you won your race or done a PB it didn’t necessarily mean you were on the plane because you may not have reached the automatic time.”
Having narrowly missed out at the London 2012 Olympics four years previously, Molly returned to the pool faster than before.
Jane said: “We really pleased and she’s very excited about it. It’s back to the hard work though for her before she goes. It’s a full time commitment.
“She’ll train two hours a day then there are gym sessions each day, physio, nutrition and a lot of science involved. It can be hard to balance everything.
“She’s out of the country a lot. They spent eight weeks in Australia earlier in the year. Everything else has to take a back seat.”
And added: “I think she has a determined streak, otherwise she would have packed in ages ago.
“She got left behind four years but she stuck at it and she’s shown a strong character. She probably feels like she’s got a point to show this time.
“It set her back a bit but she has come back and swimming faster than she ever has done before. She’s definitely going in the right direction.”