Rio 2016: Swimmer Jazz Carlin has belief to face world's best

Jazz Carlin
Jazz Carlin won two silvers at the 2016 European Championships in London

Welsh swimmer Jazz Carlin says she has belief she can win a medal at the Olympic Games.

The 25-year-old is Commonwealth champion and a former European double gold medallist.

Carlin will be making her Olympic debut in the 400m freestyle after missing out on Team GB selection four years ago.

"I need to have that belief in myself when I get on those blocks that I can fight against the best in the world and I can come out with a good performance," she said.

"Obviously we do a lot of hours of training and that gives me a lot of confidence.

"I've been training really well and putting in some really good times in training and I think that's really important for my confidence.

"It's the biggest event of my life and I'm going to make sure that I'm at my best. And if my best performance gets me on the podium then that will be an incredible feeling."

Carlin secured her place at Rio 2016 at the British trials in Glasgow in April but had to settle for silver in both the 400m and 800m freestyle at May's European Championships in London.

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Carlin secures 400m freestyle Olympic place

Swindon-born Carlin did not qualify for London 2012 after suffering with glandular fever in the build-up to the Olympic trials.

She admits she came close to quitting the sport but has since claimed world, European and Commonwealth medals.

"It's been a stressful few years and to come out the other end and to say 'I'm going to Rio and I'm going to the Olympics' is an incredible feeling," Carlin told BBC Wales Sport.

"There were times where I nearly walked away from the sport and thinking 'why am I putting myself through this.'

"You put your body through hell day in day out but it's the mental thing of picking yourself up when you have the setbacks and feeling positive and enjoying the sport again.

"I had to find my love for the sport and my passion for it and I can finally say I've got all that back.

"I love what I do and I just love racing at the international stage and obviously the Olympics is the pinnacle of most athletes' career."

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