Lincoln rower Emily Taylor pulling hard in bid for Olympic Games spot
Emily Taylor is days away from learning if she will be part of Team GB rowing squad this summer. She tells the Echo's John Pakey about how the pressure is increasing...
Emily Taylor is on the cusp of achieving her dream of selection to the British Olympic squad.
After battling the top rowers in the world at the second World Rowing Cup in Lucerne in Switzerland, the 24-year-old from Lincoln now has a short wait to see if she has done enough to earn a place on the boat for the women's eight.
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Taylor has only recently made the step up to the senior ranks of the British Rowing set-up.
And the team's fifth place finish against some of the toughest teams in the world comes hot on the heels of the previous round in Belgrade where the crew won bronze.
Now, though, all that is left are a few final training sessions before the squad for the London Games is selected next week.
It is going to be a stressful time. I've got to be confident, I've got nothing to lose. I'm one of the youngest, so I'm a bit of an underdog. I've got to go out there, go for it and hope for the best.
Everyone in the set-up is really excited. It is the Olympics, which is special in itself, but to be on your own turf makes it even better.
However, everyone is putting it to the back of their minds so they can focus on the training. Everyone is really up for it at training, but you can tell that we are on edge a bit as we near selection.
You know that you are constantly being watched and assessed by the coaches. There is a lot of pressure on us at the moment, so everyone is just trying to keep a clear head and a focused mind.
There are eight places and there are probably about 12 of us going for it. In some teams there are even more.
There is a large squad because there is the chance of some people dropping out, so you need to have a bit of depth there.
I've got to wait and see what happens. It's a really tough competition for those last few places in the boat.
I've had quite a good year. We've got a couple of new girls who have come across with a lot of experience from the sculls, but we are sweep rowers, so there is a little bit of a difference.
They will have a spare pair incase of injury at the Olympics and at the World Championships last year I was part of that.
It was good to be there and was a great experience, but it was frustrating.
All I wanted to be was out on the boat and be competing with the rest of the crew. I missed out on joining them by 0.32 seconds.
We have had lots of testing. Through the winter we had done a lot of single sculls work and there was a lot of training on your own.
Then it was moved up to pairs with other people and then finally you do a lot of interval testing. You will do 1,500 metre training runs where at the end of it you will swap a couple of members of the team.
Then you'll head off and do another 1,500 meters and time it.
The main thing I have learned is that it is not all about the pulling power. We can all pull hard and we can all put ourselves through the pain barrier.
However, being in the squad has taught me that I need to be more controlled. Nobody would be in the squad if they didn't push themselves, it is about how you work together as a team.