Dereham swimmer Marcella Aris ready for Olympics trials
Dereham's Marcella Aris is set to swim in the Olympic Trials at the London Aquatic Centre next month.
Swimming for St Felix School, Southwold, the 16-year-old will be competing in the British Gas Swimming Championships 400m freestyle, alongside star names such as Rebecca Adlington, Jo Jackson and Kerri-Anne Payne on Sunday, March 4.
Aris qualified for the trials during the summer at the National Youth Championships, winning a silver medal in a time of 4:19, two seconds inside the qualifying time of 4:21.
However, her preparation for the trials has been badly interrupted by a neck and shoulder injury which kept her out of the water from November through to mid January.
She said: 'I had to pull out of the Regional Winter Championships and the Central Zonal Championships due to my injury, but I was determined to get injury free for the Olympic Trials.
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'Thanks to my coach Sue Purchase, who worked together with Dereham osteopath Cameron Reid, I am fit and ready to compete.'
Aris made her competitive comeback last week, winning the County 15/16yrs 800m Championships, in a national qualifying time. Afterwards she said: 'That was hard but at least I know I am on the right track!'
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The Trials run from March 3 to 10 and will be covered on BBC TV.
Aris has received funding from the Norfolk Sports and Cultural Foundation, which supports young talented athletes and artists on the road to London 2012.
n Thirteen-year-old Lauren Burton will also feature at the London Aquatic Centre after becoming the first member of Dereham Otters Swimming club to qualify for a national level competition.
She has qualified for the 50m freestyle after recording an amazing time of 28.46.
Burton has been swimming with Dereham Otters for four years, and trains 10 hours each week.
She and her family had been planning to attend the Championships anyway but now, instead of watching on Friday, March 9, she will be competing instead.
A spokesman for Dereham Otters said: 'Lauren's incredible achievement is a great inspiration to show what is possible with dedication, hard work and talent. It is a fantastic example for other swimmers to follow.'