|Full name||Liam John Tancock|
|Nickname(s)||The Tank, Fatboy|
7 May 1985 |
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||81 kg (179 lb)|
|Club||Loughborough University SC|
|College team||Loughborough University|
Liam John Tancock (born 7 May 1985 in Exeter, England) is an English backstroke swimmer who specializes in the 50m and 100m events. He holds the world record in the 50m backstroke, has become a three-time world champion and a five-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist. He competed in the Olympic Games in 2008 but did not earn a medal.
Born on 7 May 1985, his first experience of swimming was waiting poolside while his older brother was learning to swim at a swimming school. Tancock was competing in local swimming competitions by the age of nine. Tancock played for Exeter Chiefs rugby team as a winger until he was thirteen. His coach, Jon Randall, convinced him to choose swimming over rugby. He attended Loughborough College where he studied sports science and was awarded with a degree validated by Loughborough University.
As a junior for the Exeter Swimming Club, he competed at the British Winter Championship in 2000 at the age of 15. He broke four records and won more medals than any junior under the age of 16 had before him.
He followed this with a gold medal at the 2001 Youth Olympic Games,
Two golds in 2002 at the World Schools Championships.
At the Japan International Open in August 2007, he won two gold medals. The first was in the 100m backstroke, which broke the European record time, and his second was in the 200m individual medley with a time of 1:59.19, which was only the second time he had finished with a time of under two minutes. It was a new British record, beating the previous record by a second and a half.
Tancock won several medals at the 2008 World Short Course Championships in Manchester, including a British, European and Commonwealth record time of 50:14 to take the gold medal in the 100m backstroke. The time was only 0.14 seconds off the world record set by American Ryan Lochte. He also won silver in the 50m backstroke and 200m medley.
Competing at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing in the men's 100m backstroke, Tancock finished in sixth position with a time of 53.39, some 0.21 seconds behind the bronze medal position. He also competed in the 200m individual medley, finishing in 8th place with a time of 2:00.76. His preferred event, the 50m backstroke, is not an Olympic event. Tancock said of the lack of a 50m event, "There is a 50m at every other major competition bar the Olympics. Don’t ask me why, but it never has been. It is not an issue but, of course, I would like it to be there".
He broke his own world record winning the gold medal for 50m backstroke at the 2009 World Aquatics Championships. He had set a time of 24.08 in the semi finals, but furthered it with a time of 24.04 in the final. It was the second gold of the event for the British team, who took home their best ever tally of seven medals in total. He wore a bodyskin swimsuit which was subsequently banned by FINA at the start of 2010.
In the same event at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, he took the gold medal once more, breaking the Commonwealth Games record with a time of 24.62 in the final. He also took a second Commonwealth gold in the 100m backstroke with a time of 53.59. As of 2010, he was ranked second in the world for the 50m backstroke and third for the 100m, and following his success at the Commonwealth Games he was named BBC South West's Sportsman of the Year 2010.
At the 2011 World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai, Tancock retained his world championship crown with a time of 24.5 seconds in the 50m backstroke. It was the second occasion a British male swimmer had retained a world championship title, and he became the first man to retain the 50m backstroke title. He finished sixth in the 100m backstroke with a time of 52.76.
On 5 March 2012, Tancock won the 100m backstroke final at the British trials with a time of 53.16 seconds in the event held at the London Aquatics Centre. The victory qualified him for the 2012 Summer Olympics as part of the British team as the top two of each race qualified automatically. Whilst competing at the venue, which was the swimming venue at the 2012 Games, he did not find the controversial ceiling and lighting set up distracting, putting it down to the training he conducted for the 2009 World Championships, which were held outside. Fellow British backstroke swimmer Gemma Spofforth had found the ceiling distracting and disorienting for backstroke swimmers; however, Tancock felt that it might provide British swimmers with an advantage as they would be more familiar with it. As part of his training regime for the Games, he took up ballet, kickboxing and rock climbing in order to improve on his position of sixth at the 2008 Games. He also pushed around his coach's car in order to improve his stamina and transfer his 50m backstroke form to the 100m event. Despite this, Tancock missed out on medal as he finished fifth in the men's 100m backstroke final in a time of 53.35 seconds. He has no plans to retire and does not believe that the 2012 Games will be his last Olympics.
Tancock achieved the World Championships qualifying time, but the team coach only choose swimmers who had a chance of being at Rio 2016. As a result of the 50m backstroke not being an event at the Olympics, Tancock was not selected for the team.
Personal bests and records held
- Long course (50 m)
|100 m freestyle||48.76||19 Mar 2009||British Championships||Sheffield, United Kingdom|||
|50 m backstroke||24.04||WR||2 Aug 2009||World Championships||Rome, Italy|||
|100 m backstroke||52.73||NR||28 Jul 2009||World Championships||Rome, Italy|||
|200 m individual medley||1:57.79||1 Apr 2008||British Championships||Sheffield, United Kingdom|||
- Short course (25 m)
|50 m backstroke||23.10||NR||7 Aug 2009||Grand Prix||Leeds, United Kingdom|||
|100 m backstroke||50.14||CR, ER, NR||10 Apr 2008||World SC Championships||Manchester, United Kingdom|||
|100 m individual medley||52.22||NR||13 Apr 2008||World SC Championships||Manchester, United Kingdom|||
|200 m individual medley||1:53.10||NR||11 Apr 2008||World SC Championships||Manchester, United Kingdom|||
Records not set in finals: h – heat; sf – semifinal; r – relay 1st leg; rh – relay heat 1st leg; b – B final; † – en route to final mark; tt – time trial
Liam is the youngest of 2 boys born for mum Kim; his brother is 2 years older. His "fatboy" nickname originated from his older brother, although he didn't mean it in a negative sense.He currently trains at and swims for Loughborough University. He is a supporter of Exeter City association football club, and Exeter Chiefs Rugby club Liam is now trained as a level two swimming coach. He is an ambassador for Speedo, For Goodness Shakes, and Gilette.
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- "Home life in Devon is swimmer Liam Tancock's gold medal", BBC Sport, 17 December 2010, retrieved 7 June 2012
- "Liam Tancock wins 50m backstroke gold in Shanghai", BBC Sport, 31 July 2011, retrieved 7 June 2012
- "London 2012: Liam Tancock takes up ballet and kick-boxing", BBC Sport, 29 March 2012, retrieved 7 June 2012
- "London 2012: Tancock qualifies for Olympics with 100m win", BBC Sport, 5 March 2012, retrieved 7 June 2012
- Al-Samarrai, Riath (3 June 2012), "Tancock hopes familiarity breeds success for Britain's Olympic swimmers", Daily Mail, retrieved 7 June 2012
- Nakrani, Sachin (6 March 2012). "Liam Tancock stays cool in the pool as he qualifies for London 2012". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
- "Profile". Liam Tancock.com. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
- "Leeds Grand Prix SC". 7 August 2009. Liam Tancock.com. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
- Symcox, Johnathan. "60 seconds with Liam Tancock". Eurosport. Yahoo!. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
- "For Goodness Shakes Ambassador Liam Tancock Qualifies for Olympics". For Goodness Shakes.com. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
- Personal Website
- Liam Tancock on Twitter
- British Swimming athlete profile
- British Olympic Association Profile
- British Swimming results and rankings database entry
|World Record Holder
Men's 50 Backstroke
2 April – 5 December 2008
1 August 2009 – present