Jamieson defends Euro appearance
Michael Jamieson has rubbished claims that competing at the European Championships will jeopardise his Olympic hopes, insisting there would be no better way to arrive at London 2012 than with a continental medal.
The 23-year-old breaststroke specialist is one of just five British swimmers who will make the trip to Debrecen, Hungary this month after officials made participation in the event optional.
And, while the vast majority of the British Olympic swimming squad, which currently stands at 38, have opted to give the Europeans a miss and focus on their London 2012 training schedules, Jamieson is adamant there wasn't even a decision to make.
"For me any opportunity to race at a major international event and to race for Britain is one that I think I should take," said Jamieson.
"Beyond that, I'm going to be racing against some of the top Europeans at the Olympics in the summer so to get more experience of racing against these guys is a positive and it's something that I need to learn from.
"I'm only flying into the event for my main event so it's not going to cause any disruption to my training programme and it would obviously be a huge boost if I could get to the final or even get onto the podium."
Commonwealth silver medallist Jamieson will make his Olympic debut this summer but qualified the hard way at the British Gas Championships in March.
Jamieson had hoped to make sure of his place over 100m before turning his attentions to his favoured 200m but after ending up third in the shorter distance, he had a few sleepless nights before booking his spot.
Even then Jamieson had to settle for second place in the 200m and just squeezed into the Olympic squad, but while things didn't go exactly to plan, he has now accepted that it was a case of mission accomplished.
"There were a lot of emotions for me at the British Gas Championships," he added. "I missed out on qualification for the 100m breaststroke earlier in the week, which set up a pretty nerve-racking few days in the lead-up to the 200m - my favoured event.
"It was a real sense of relief to qualify in the end but performance-wise it wasn't quite where I wanted to be but on reflection now the meet was about qualifying for the team and getting the job done and thankfully I was able to do that.
"Any Olympic Games is the pinnacle of our sport and it's where any athlete wants to be and I think the fact that it's a home Games is something additionally special that so many athletes will not get to experience and I think the support will push us on to get some podium places this summer."