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Andrew Willis (Great Britain)

Uploaded on July 26, 2012 by Jason
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From personal shoppers to personal bests Andrew Willis’ 2012 has already been one to remember – and now he can’t wait for the main event. Yateley's Willis was something of a surprise package as he booked his London Olympic spot at the first time of asking in March, swimming a best-ever 200m breaststroke time of 2.09.84 minutes to win the national title.

That display ensured that earlier this month he felt like a pampered celebrity at Loughborough when he collected his Stella McCartney-designed GB kit for his debut Games.

And with the kit and the Olympic spot in the bag Willis, who trains in Bath, admits he is counting down the hours before he can make his first appearance at the 'Greatest Show on Earth'.

“The kit handout was amazing,” said the 21-year-old. “I was a bit anxious going in, with big shoulders and long arms, but everything was just amazing going in to see the gear, and you can see what the girls are going on about with it being like having a personal shopper.

“I’m in a run of good form. My last few competitions I’ve swum down some good times. I’m still working hard in training and still bringing the times down. It’s very good preparation for me to practice racing, practice how I’m going to approach races and it’s going to be completely different when the Games start because every race is going to be treated like a final."

For Frimley-born Willis his feelings about the power of an Olympic crowd – and a home one at that – is somewhat speculative with London being his Games bow.

However in the shape of five-time Olympian Mark Foster there is man who has been there and done it. And he’s got no doubt about the influence some partisan support in the stands could make.

“The British fans are like the 12th man, it makes a difference to performance and I say go out there and show off, show that you are proud to be British and proud to represent Britain,” said Foster, who carried the British flag at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Games.

“It makes a huge differenced when everyone is supporting and cheering you along. “It’s a once in a lifetime event, and it will be really special.”

Lloyds TSB, proud supporter of Team GB and proud partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Get closer to the Games at lloydstsb.com/london2012
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