Walker-Hebborn heading Down Under for some capital gains
CHRIS WALKER-HEBBORN is keeping his fingers crossed a winter on Australia's Gold Coast can give him a shot at some London 2012 silverware.
HEADING DOWN UNDER: Chris Walker-Hebborn believes a trip to Australia will get him ready for London 2012
By his own admission Walker-Hebborn took a backwards step in 2011, requiring the second chance trials to book his World Championship spot before struggling in Shanghai.
The 21-year-old failed to make it out of the heats of the 200m backstroke - ending 17th overall - in the Far East, a considerable regression having finished the 2009 equivalent in ninth.
As a result he is heading Down Under this winter to return to the scene of some happy childhood memories, Walker-Hebborn spent two years in Australia as a teenager, for a seven-week training camp.
The intensive period will see him enjoy the perfect possible preparation for next year's all-important Olympic trials - an opportunity Walker-Hebborn doesn't plan on wasting.
"We are going to the Gold Coast at the end of December and that is where I spent a couple of years as a teenager," said Walker-Hebborn - who as part of British Swimming's Big Splash campaign is urging people to take up swimming for 30 minutes once a week.
"I went to the Southport School, a British off-shore academy, and there are quite a few British lads out there and it will be great to go back there.
"I could have done better last year and the trials in March weren't brilliant but I pulled myself around and I had a good swim at the nationals and put myself on the team for the World Championships.
"I went through a few things I haven't don't before like a double taper and I put my body in shock but I had a bit of an abysmal worlds and I want more.
"Going away will help mix things up and get away from the illnesses and colds that go around during winter. I have been back to Southport a few times and it is great to do so.
"We go on December 28 and come back three weeks before the trials and it will be good to concentrate on doing everything I can so I am ready for when the trials come around."
The date that will be etched into Walker-Hebborn's memory when he is sunning himself Down Under will be March 3 - the day the Olympic trials kick off at the London 2012 Aquatics Centre.
But, while he can't deny the event's importance, the Bury swimmer has not yet made a decision in which events he will target Olympic selection.
"I will definitely be doing the 200m backstroke and the 100m and I may swim the 200m freestyle and 100m freestyle at the trials but I don't know yet," added Walker-Hebborn.
"I am back into the grind and there is no messing about - I'm waking up and it is dark and going to sleep when it is dark but you have got to plug through."
© Sportsbeat 2011