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Page last updated at 17:18 GMT, Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Fran Halsall to miss winter training after surgery

Fran Halsall

Halsall hopes to be fit for British championships

By Nick Hope
Olympic Sports Reporter

Five-time European swimming medallist Fran Halsall has revealed she will have ankle surgery to help ensure she will be fit for the 2012 Olympics.

The 20-year-old from Southport had been struggling for months and will now miss six weeks of her winter training.

But she told BBC Sport: "I had to consider if I would leave it and accept I would need to take weeks off every so often to recover, or have an operation.

"If I do this now I shouldn't have any disruption leading up to London 2012."

She was expected to travel with fellow Loughborough-based swimmers to Florida and then South Africa over the next month, but will instead concentrate on rehab back at home.

If I get everything sorted and I'm fine coming into the next two years then hopefully I can win achieve the goals that I've set myself

Fran Halsall

"I went over on it running almost exactly a year ago. Swimmers just shouldn't try to do things out of the pool because something's bound to go wrong," Halsall joked.

"I wasn't able to train on it for about four or five weeks and I've been having MRI scans throughout the year.

"An injection helped get me through the European trials [British Championships in March], but the pain has been there on and off niggling me all year."

Halsall came to prominence at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne where, at the age of 16, she claimed two relay silver medals as part of the England team.

Individual silver and bronze medals followed at the 2008 World Short-Course Championships in Manchester and there was an impressive 100m freestyle silver to celebrate at last year's World Championships in Rome.

However, it was not until this year that she was able to claim individual gold, which she managed in the 100m freestyle at the European Championships in Budapest and the 50m butterfly in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Despite falling foul of a sickness bug which swept through many of the competing swim teams, Halsall secured a further three silvers and a bronze from the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

"This year I've made massive improvements with my butterfly and it's been in part because of the injury," claimed Halsall.


"My ankle is affected more by front-crawl leg-kick and fly is less stressful on the joint, so leading up to the British Championships [in March] and then the Euros I was putting in a lot of fly [training] sets, which have paid off."

Halsall's team-mates are currently in Florida and will head to Doha next on their winter training programme, something the freestyle and butterfly swimmer shall be missing out on.

"Although I'm missing out on training with my team, who are texting telling me it's really warm out in Florida, this [the operation] should be a six-week job to help me get back to where my ankle should be," said Halsall.

Halsall's first major competition of 2011 is likely to be the British Swimming Championships in Manchester, which are likely to be at the end of March. Traditionally it has been used as a qualification event for the World Championships which will in Shanghai, China in July.

"The fact that I've been able to achieve what I did off not as much training as I would have liked to this year, it has made me think that if I get everything sorted and I'm fine coming into the next two years then hopefully I can win achieve the goals that I've set myself," added Halsall.

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see also
Halsall celebrates butterfly gold
05 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Halsall claims second Euro medal
13 Aug 10 |  Swimming
Britain's Halsall snatches silver
31 Jul 09 |  Swimming
Halsall eager for Olympic glory
24 Apr 08 |  Swimming

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