BADSWORTH swimmer Max Litchfield has the 2016 Rio Olympics firmly in his sights after making his mark in the British Championship selection trials in London.
Seventeen-year-old Pontefract New College student Max, a member of Doncaster Dartes Swimming Club, reached the semi-finals of the 200 metres individual medley and swam three personal bests at the recent 2012 Olympic selection trials at the new Olmpic Pool in Stratford.
Dartes head coach Andy Wallace says that the big occasion brought the best out Max and he is tipping the youngster to peak just in time for the Brazil Games.
Wallace said: “The 2016 Games are a realistic target for Max and to reach Rio is his long term goal.
“He’ll be 21 by the time the Games come round and he has every chance of making it if he keeps working as hard as he is now.
“Most of the males will be aged around 24 or 25 when it comes to Team GB selection but there is the odd exception to that.
“Max has just got to make sure he keeps doing the right things and he will be in there with a great chance of making it.”
Max, whose younger brother Joe and sister Grace also swim for Doncaster Dartes, ended the recent London trials ranked 14th in the 200 metres individual medley after clocking a time of two minutes, 4.35 seconds.
The time has earned him a place in the Great Britain squad for the European Junior Championships in July in Antwerp, Belgium.
He also swam personal bests in the 400 metres individual medley and 200 metres backstroke while also making his debut in front of the live television cameras in the evening semi-finals.
“The experience will do him the world of good and it seemed to bring the best out of him,” said Wallace.
“It was a great opportunity to test himself against the best British and many overseas swimmers at the trials who were there to try out the new venue prior to the Olympics, and gauge exactly where he is at in terms of his personal development.
“The whole event was a huge learning curve because you are out there competing for yourself and away from your team mates and normal comfort zone.
“It’s a lot different to anything he has experienced before. He will have learned a lot about himself in the process.
“He did really well and now he can focus on the build up to 2016.”