Fran Halsall is capable of mixing with the world’s very best swimmers at this summer’s World Championships, says former Olympic silver medallist Sharron Davies.
At 24, Halsall has a wealth of experience under her belt after bursting on to the scene in 2006, where she was the youngest member of England’s team at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
Since then the Southport ace has been to two World Championships and competed at finals in two Olympics Games.
It is a record that makes her one of Britain’s most experienced swimmers but with youth still on her side, Davies thinks Halsall (right)can continue to fly the flag and be a force at next summer’s Olympic Games.
“Fran Halsall has been around a while,” said Davies, speaking at the SSE Arena at Wembley, where she is a mentor for SSE’s Next Generation programme, which provides vital financial and development support to 100 young athletes from across the UK and Ireland.
“But as a sprinter you can have a longer career than you can if you’re a distance athlete because of what you can put your body through.
“I really don’t see any reason why Fran can’t stay as long as she wants to really because she has the ability and is still young.
“She can help provide some experience but we’ve also got some strong youngsters coming through so it’s not just her out there doing the business.
“I’d say it isn’t just Fran now because the amount of swimmers we have that can all perform at the top level is amazing.
“That maybe spreads the pressure around a little bit and Fran can be someone who certainly benefits from that.”
With the World Championships in Kazan to look forward to later and the Olympic Games right around the corner, it is set to be a busy time for Britain’s elite swimmers.
And Davies says she is excited by the talent the country has to offer. “Obviously we didn’t have a very great London, and a lot of people are aware of that but there were also a lot of fourth, sixth and fifths and what we’re trying to do now is turn them into medals,” she added.
“We’ve got the World Championships this summer, then Rio next year and I’m very excited for it,”
SSE’s Next Generation programme partners with SportsAid to provide financial support and training to the sports stars of the future. Keep up to date with the latest @SSENextGen