Jarrod Poort heads for victory in the final of the 1500m freestyle at the Australian Olympic Swimming Trials in Adelaide on March 22.
Jarrod Poort heads for victory in the final of the 1500m freestyle at the Australian Olympic Swimming Trials in Adelaide on March 22. Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

Waiting on call-up for Games

JARROD Poort is camped in what must be the sporting equivalent of purgatory.

The 17-year-old, who honed his competitive instincts under noted coach Michael Sage at Cotton Tree Aquatic Centre, will find out in about month whether he is to represent Australia in the 1500m at the London Olympics.

Every day brings him closer to the potentially life-altering verdict.

The former Sunshine Coast Grammar student won the 1500m at the Australian championships in Adelaide in March, but his time of 15min 13.38sec was outside the Olympic A qualifying time of 15:11.83.

His chances of competing in London hinge on whether his B qualifying time is good enough to get him inside the cut-off mark for the total number of athletes designated for London, which is 900.

Every B qualifier will be ranked, meaning he is effectively competing against all the B qualifiers from every sport for an Olympic berth.

It has to be pressurised stuff. Not so, says the Poort camp.

The swimmer's coach, Ron McKeon, believes his charge's time will be good enough, and Poort refuses to get ruffled.

He told the Daily yesterday from his Wollongong home that he was training as if he had already secured an Olympic spot.

There was no point getting stressed out. He had done everything he could. It was now out of his hands.

"To tell you the truth, I'm fairly relaxed," he said.

"I'm not really thinking about it … whatever happens, happens. There's nothing I can do about it."

Last month, Poort returned from three weeks of altitude training in Mexico and a week of training in Dallas to have a final crack at posting an A qualifying time.

BUT Poort (pictured) disappointed at the Oceania Championships in Noumea, New Caledonia, where he recorded a time of 15:30.68.

Even if he gets to London, he will have to dramatically improve his personal best time to make the final.

McKeon described Poort as "philosophical".

He said the swimmer would quickly move on to the next challenge if he failed to earn selection - the 2016 Rio Olympics firmly in his sights.



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