BRITISH gymnastics doyenne Beth Tweddle believes she will have a head start on many of her Olympic team-mates when it comes to handling the extra pressure next summer.
The three-time world champion from Liverpool admits she is feeling the burden of an expectant home crowd, but plans to draw on her experience of recent competitions held in the UK.
Tweddle told City A.M.: “British Gymnastics has had a couple of events – we had the World Championships at the O2, the Europeans in Birmingham – and that was all geared towards giving us experience in front of a home crowd.
“I love a home crowd, as soon as you walk into an arena they go wild and it just gives you that extra buzz. I hope I will thrive on the pressure.”
Tweddle was part of last night’s celebrations in Trafalgar Square to mark one year until the London 2012 opening ceremony – the latest reminder that the Games are fast approaching. Yet the 26-year-old is doing her best to put thoughts of competing in a third and final Olympics to the back of her mind and focus on the World Championships later this year.
“It’s really hard because everyone’s getting really excited about the Olympics and being here has put it all in perspective,” she added.
“But as a team we’ve still got to qualify, so I have to enjoy the moment but then step back. As soon as I get back in the gym tomorrow we’ve got a lot of hard work to get the team qualified in October.”