Countdown to London 2012: Mighty Max tipped to make a splash in Rio

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SWIMMING sensation Max Litchfield has got the 2016 Rio Olympics firmly in his sights after making his mark in London.

The Doncaster Dartes teenager reached the semi-finals of the 200m individual medley and swam two personal bests at the recent 2012 Olympics selection trials.

Dartes head coach Andrew Wallace told the Free Press that the big occasion brought the best out of the 17-year-old - and he has tipped the youngster to peak just in time for the Brazil Games.

Wallace said: “The 2016 Games are a realistic target for Max and to reach Rio is his long term goal.

“He’ll be 21 by the time the Games come round and he has every chance of making it if he keeps working as hard as he is now.

“Most of the males will be aged around 24 or 25 when it comes to Team GB selection but there is the odd exception to that.

“Max has just got to make sure he keeps doing the right things and he will be in there with a great chance of making it.”

Litchfield, who has swam for Doncaster since he was aged nine, ended the recent London trials ranked 18th in the 200m individual medley after clocking a time of 2:04.35.

The time should be enough to earn him a place in the Great Britain squad for the Euro Junior Championships in July.

Litchfield also swam personal bests in the 400m individual medley and 200m backstroke, while also making his debut in front of the live television cameras.

“The experience will do him the world of good and it seemed to bring the best out of him,” said Andrew.

“It was a great opportunity to test himself against the best British swimmers and gauge exactly where he is at in terms of his development.

“The whole event was a learning curve because you are out there competing for yourself and away from your teammates.

“It’s a lot different to anything he has experienced before,” he added.

“He will have learned a lot about himself in the process.

“He did really well and now he can focus on the build up to 2016.”

Litchfield, a student at Wakefield College, began his swimming career with Askern Swimming Club and has competed at a national level from the age of 11.

His younger brother Joe also swims for Doncaster Dartes.

For more information about Doncaster Dartes visit www.dartes.co.uk.