Swimmer Dan Fogg plans to focus on just one event to maximise his medal chances at the Olympic Games in 2016

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Dann Fogg (Picture: John Sibley) Dann Fogg (Picture: John Sibley)

Chingford's Olympic swimmer Dan Fogg plans to give up the 1500m freestyle to maximise his chances of medal glory in the 10k open water event at the Games in 2016.

Fogg, who learned to swim with Waltham Forest Gators, narrowly missed out on a medal at last summer’s Olympics as he finished fifth in the open water.

The 25-year-old was further off in the 1500m where he finished eighth and Fogg believes he will have to focus solely on one of the two events if he is to win a medal in the future.

“For the time being I’m sticking with both the 1500 and the 10k but if I want to win a medal in Rio in 2016 I’m probably going to have to zero in on one.

“My best chance is in the open water so I think as the next few years go by I’m probably going to phase out the pool swimming and focus solely on the open water side of things.”

Fogg was disappointed not to take a home a medal in the open water event in London, particularly as it was tactical mistakes that cost him as he let a breakaway pack get away from him in the middle of the race.

But the 74kg swimmer says he will use the disappointment to spur him on to better things in Rio.

“I think coming out and finishing fifth – missing a medal and making errors in the race – showed me that I could have won a medal with not that much experience in the event,” the swimmer said.

“It was all pretty new so to have another four years to hopefully work on something and improve and go up three or four places certainly does give me extra impetus.”

Enthusiasm after London 2012 though, has not always been easy to come by for Fogg who admits life after last summer was initially very difficult.

“After being on such buzz and such a high for three or four weeks, after the games and with it all finishing it was a bit of a downer,” he said.

“Probably the worst part was actually immediately after we left the village on the way home. I was just sitting there and it was like ‘oh well, it’s over now, what do I do for the next few weeks?’ That was probably the hardest part.”

Fogg insists though, he is over his post-London blues and is now looking forward to the World Championships later this year where he will be competing in both the 1500m and the 10k.

He trains ten times a week in the pool for two-and-a-half hours each time as well as another two to three hours doing “land work”.

It’s a tough life but one he enjoys and Fogg is pleased his daily routine hasn’t been affected by UK Sport’s decision to cut the Olympic swimming budget by 14.9 per cent.

Team GB’s swimmers under-performed at London 2012 and Fogg says the decision is “understandable”.

“Looking at the results from London, we didn’t achieve what we wanted to and it was a disappointment so it’s fully understandable where the cuts are coming from,” he said.

“In terms of my perspective not much has changed, I’m still in the same training programme with the same coach and the same staff around me so for me personally it’s just business as usual which is good.”

Fogg used to train at Waltham Forest Swimming Club where he learned to swim when he was five years old and raced for the Gators until he left at 18.

“I learned to swim there and the earliest memory I have of a race was when I was eight years old at the club championships – that’s where I learned to swim,” he explained.

“It was where I went through all the levels – progressing through the squads from county to regional to national level, so it’s where all my memories are from all my early races.

“I always enjoyed swimming but they nurtured my passion for the sport and helped me achieve the goals I did.”

Daniel Fogg is a member of the British Gas GBR Swimming Team. This spring British Gas is launching SwimBritain, a campaign to create a healthier nation and get more people swimming regularly by 2015. Visit www.facebook.com/BGSwimming

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