By David Gold

club swimmerDecember 20 - Xander Alari-Williams may be a name unfamiliar to all but the most avid swimming fans but he harbours hopes of making it to the London 2012 Olympic Games and could be the next big British sensation.

The 18-year-old will be competing in March for the right to represent his country at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the swimming test event at the Aquatics Centre.

"I'm hopeful for the Olympic trials but if I don't get in there is always the next one and the one after - my main aim is to enjoy the atmosphere," he told insidethegames.

Alari-Williams is grounded though and realises that he is more likely to make it to the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics.

"2016 and 2020 will realistically be my stronger Olympics but a home (Games), the opportunity to compete in front of a home crowd will be amazing if I qualify.

"I've just finished school last year and whilst there I couldn't train as much, the quality was less than this year because I was tired from spending seven to eight hours for five days a week in school.

"This year I'm on a gap year before university and the ability to relax between sessions means I can train so much harder.

"Prior to that I trained but not at 100% so with a couple more years of good quality training I'll be in better form and that's why 2016 will be my best (chance)."

He is ranked number two for 100m breaststroke in his age group, and won gold, silver and bronze medals at the 2009 UK School Games.

His talent is such that he has been selected for the British Swimming World Class Development Programme though he has to knock almost three seconds per 100m off his personal best times to qualify either in the 100m or 200m for the Olympics next year.

Between London 2012 and Rio 2016, Alari-Williams could be picking up a mathematics degree from Oxford University, proving he is as sharp out of the pool as in it.

His achievements to date are even more remarkable as Alari-Williams actually has an allergy to chlorine.

It may sound as unlikely as a squirrel with a nut allergy, but he explains the lengths he has gone to in order to be successful in spite of this obstacle.

"I've been seeing a breathing specialist to help me train more to my potential.

"(Chlorine) triggers my asthma so if I train in a heavily chlorinated pool my breathing starts to go and my throat closes.

"Seeing a breathing specialist has really helped as I have some techniques to do before and after the pool, and we measure how much oxygen and carbon dioxide I exhale.

"From those records we can see if my ventalin is actually helping, previously I took (it) with no impact but with their support I've moved up my dosage to allow me to train longer and harder."

Alari-Williams adds that the achievements of the likes of the double Olympic gold medal winning freestyle swimmer Rebecca Adlington and 10k open water world champion Keri-Anne Payne has given young British swimmers role models and the impetus to believe they can make it in the sport.

The 18-year-old may be quite an outsider to emulate their achievements next year, but if he doesn't, he may not have to wait too much longer to make an impact on the world stage.

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