WEARSIDE could have its first confirmed Olympian this weekend as trampolinist Kat Driscoll bids to seal her spot at next month’s games.
West Rainton-based Driscoll faces the final hurdle in her quest to compete in London when she tackles the last qualifying event tomorrow, as the leading contenders vie to become Britain’s sole trampolining representative.
The 26-year-old earned Britain a spot at the Olympics when she finished seventh in the World Championships final last November.
But that didn’t automatically mean Driscoll would be Britain’s entrant, with the qualification process dependent on four trial events.
Driscoll, who trains at Washington Leisure Centre, remains the favourite for selection, but knows she needs to produce a strong showing at the domestic trials, in Liverpool tomorrow.
She told the Echo: “Yes, I’m feeling nervous that everything boils down to one competition.
“But training has been going well both on the trampoline and in the weights room and I feel like I have done all the right preparation for the event.
“Nothing is for certain yet, although I know I am good enough.
“I’ll have plenty of support in Liverpool, all my training kids and their parents, along with my parents and brother are coming along, so I feel good knowing I’ve got them all there with me.”
The qualification process is a complicated one, with the performances from four events taken into consideration – November’s World Championships, the London test event for the games, April’s European Championships and this weekend’s domestic trials.
The two best preliminary round scores and two best final scores from the four events are then added together, with the top-ranked British trampolinist going to the Olympics and the second providing the reserve.
Driscoll outperformed her main two rivals Amanda Parker and Laura Gallagher at both the World Championships and the London test event.
But she finished adrift of the duo at the European Championships when she had the chance to effectively seal her Olympic spot.
Driscoll, who is the domestic number one after finishing in the world’s top eight last year, is hopeful she can keep her nerve tomorrow though and remain ahead of her rivals to maintain her chances of becomingBritain’s first ever Olympic trampolining medallist.
“I started training on the equipment in Liverpool yesterday and I feel much happier now I’ve got one on of the trampolines!” added Driscoll, originally from Kent.
“I normally cope well under pressure so hopefully that will be the case tomorrow.”