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Vicky Holland and Lucy Hall with Helen Jenkins (middle)

Olympic selection sinks in for Lucy Hall at Loughborough kitting-out day

2 July 2012

Loughborough College student Lucy Hall says the kitting out day at the Team GB Preparation Camp at Loughborough made her selection for the London 2012 Olympics really hit home.

The 20-year-old triathlete, part of a three woman GB team including Loughborough University graduate Vicky Holland and Helen Jenkins, said the three-hour ‘shopping spree with no credit card’ was great fun but it also meant her selection had now sunk in.

Lucy, from Lutterworth, said: “Today has made everything a lot more real and I have been getting a lot more excited and nervous. All of the emotions start to come out.

"It's amazing to be a part of this, and to know that I will be competing in my home country with lots of support is fantastic.

"My selection was a shock, if I am being honest. At the start of the season, I sat down with my coach and discussed what I wanted to achieve during the year. Those goals were to develop into a full triathlete and develop all of my disciplines.

"After Christmas, they changed and my coach wanted me to focus more on my swimming and riding, and it paid off."

Lucy heard of her selection in a telephone call at one o’clock in the morning after just returning from a tough training session in the pool which started at 5.45am.

“I knew what time they were planning on ringing people to tell them, so it was amazing to get the news. I was giggling for ages afterwards,” Lucy told the Leicester Mercury.

Lucy’s original goal was the 2016 Olympics in Rio but her strength in the 1.5km swim – the other disciplines are a 40km cycle ride and a 10km run – persuaded the selectors to choose her as a ‘domestique’ to help Jenkins win gold.

Her team-mates at the club she competes for in France, Brive Limousin, have christened her 'the mermaid' because she is so quick, and the hope is that she will pull along world No.2 Jenkins and destroy her rivals.

Lucy is from a sport-mad family and first got into the triathlon disciplines at the age of eight.

She said: "My dad used to run and we would travel around in a van and watch him run.

"He was quite keen to get me into it and I enjoyed lots of sport like cricket, tennis, football and tag rugby. I had a go, really enjoyed it and improved each year.”

Lucy admits that training four to five hours of training every day and having to abstain from the things that all 20 year olds do is tough.

She said: "It can get tough. When you are a teenager and you get to the point when you want to go out and have a bit of fun and socialise, staying in can be difficult.

"You have to be quite strict with yourself. A late night would do you no good when you have to be up at 4.30am to go to the pool, followed by school.

"Being a triathlete and a full-time student was very tough. They were my hardest years. I was forced to take a step back from the sport when I picked up a stress fracture in my left tibia, and realise that my studies were the most important thing.

"I am at Loughborough College now in the second year of a degree in sports science and management, so at least I have something to fall back on.

"I train for about 25-30 hours a week and train three times a day, so it still gets quite busy. To the everyday person, triathlon must seem ridiculous. But I have been doing it every day since I was eight. It's second-nature now and is something that I absolutely love doing."

Team GB The Official Preparation Camp Headquarters for Team GB