Belfast Telegraph

Commonwealth Games: Jamieson can handle the heat: Rebecca Adlington

By Robert Jones

Rebecca Adlington is backing Michael Jamieson to handle first-night pressure and show the Glasgow crowds why he heads into the Commonwealth Games as a gold medal favourite.

Providing he negotiates the lunchtime heats, Jamieson will be aiming for a world record in the 200m breaststroke final, while his fellow Scots and 2010 Commonwealth gold medallists Hannah Miley and Robbie Renwick have the opportunity to repeat their feats on day one.

Double Olympic champion Adlington is optimistic 25-year-old Jamieson, who won silver in his speciality event at London 2012, will be able to push on to reach the top of the podium.

"I'm sure he's a bag of nerves but if anyone can handle it it's definitely Michael," Adlington said.

"He's a born racer and he loves that competition.

"These guys are all putting pressure on themselves. They all want to do well.

"Only Michael will be disappointed if he steps out of that pool not achieving what he wants to, nobody else."

Jamieson's fellow Scot Sir Chris Hoy, the six-time Olympic cycling champion who gives his name to the Games velodrome, is backing Jamieson to shut out outside pressures and focus on his four lengths of the Tollcross pool.

Hoy said last night: "I met Michael Jamieson's family about half an hour ago and I think they're probably more nervous than he will be.

"As an athlete all you try to do is focus on what's in your control. You're not worrying about the what ifs – 'what if I win gold?', 'what if I lose?' – the TV, the crowds or the people."

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