Cumbrian swimmer Luke Greenbank has had his wish granted by the Team GB selectors as he received his first Olympic call-up to take to the water this summer at the Tokyo Olympics Games.
Greenbank was selected in the pre-selection phase alongside fellow swimmers Adam Peaty, Duncan Scott, and James Wilby in the Team GB swimming squad to travel to Tokyo.
The 23-year-old, who began his swimming career at Cockermouth Swimming Club, said: “It felt absolutely amazing, it’s something that I have wanted for my entire swimming career since I was nine years old.
“I think it would have been nice to have that touch-the-wall moment and qualify at trials but to have it pre-confirmed, it’s a massive weight off my shoulders for me.”
Greenbank was a member of the GB Men’s 4x100m Medley Relay team which won gold at the 2019 World Championships.
The backstroke specialist said about the impact of the lockdowns: “With the first lockdown it was bizarre because we were out of the water.
“With the last two lockdowns, we have been allowed to train under the elite athlete program.
“It has been odd but we have managed to get some good training in.”
On travelling to Tokyo during a global pandemic, Greenbank said: “I try not to worry about that kind of stuff.
“I understand there will be a bit of a risk but I have faith in the procedures.
“As an athlete, I obviously want it to go ahead.
“I really hope it does and it would be amazing if fans were there but safety is the main thing.
“If it does mean we go ahead and there are no fans, substituting that atmosphere for safety is probably the correct call.”
The Olympic Games, which were postponed last year because of the pandemic will now take place this year between July 23 and August 8.