Jonathan Carlisle targets Olympics

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SUNDERLAND swimmer Jonathan Carlisle will put his studies on hold in a bid to fulfil his Olympic dream.

The 19-year-old is an outside bet to feature at next summer’s games, with the 2016 Olympics in Brazil a more realistic target.

But Carlisle has not given hope of appearing in London and is keen to maximise his chances of qualifying for the 100metres or 200m backstroke.

Southwick-born Carlisle will bring a temporary halt to his degree at the University of Sunderland next year, with a view to training full-time in the run-up to March’s Olympic trials.

Carlisle, ranked as the second best junior in the country, is eager to secure sponsorship for his year-out and believes the experience will stand him in good stead, regardless of whether he qualifies for the Olympic team or not.

“I’m looking to get some funding to support me during next year and allow me to spend a couple of weeks in London for the Olympic trials,” he said.

“I don’t think I will make the team for 2012, it is more about 2016.

“But I am still young and if I can down to the trials and impress, it might help me make the next tier of funding from Sport England.

“Plus the trials are in the new Olympic pool and it will be a great experience.”

Carlisle, who finished second in both the 100m and 200m at the Sunderland ASC Firecracker Gala earlier this month, will step up his preparations for the Olympic trials in Canada next week.

The teenager has been selected in the England Talent senior team to face a Canadian side in the Canada Cup, starting on Sunday, November 20.

“I first got selected for the England side last year and this is a big meet for the younger swimmers,” he added.

“It’s the first international competition I’ve taken part in and it will be more vital experience for me.”

Anyone interested in sponsoring Jonathan should contact him on 07590 190031.