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Stanley's Olympic medal aim a lofty goal

Published: 9:43AM Tuesday March 27, 2012 Source: ONE Sport

Fresh off breaking two national records and qualifying for the Olympics, 20-year-old swimming sensation Matthew Stanley is aiming to win a medal in London.

Stanley beat the great Danyon Loader's national record for the second time in winning the 200m freestyle at the West Wave Aquatic Centre in Henderson last night and with it go under the qualifying time for the London Olympics.

This follows his record effort in the 400m freestyle on the opening night.

"I definitely want to win a medal at the Olympics. It's not really a sport that you can really make much money at so it's for your pride, for your country, for yourself and for your family," Stanley told ONE News.

However Stanley, coached by Scott Talbot at Swimming New Zealand's High Performance Centre, would have to improve considerably over the next few months if he was to obtain such lofty goals.

In the 200m freestyle World Championships last year, American Ryan Lochte, 26, clocked one minute, 44.44 seconds for gold, with fellow American Michael Phelps taking silver in 1:44.79 ahead of defending champion Paul Biedermann.

In fact, Stanley's time of 1:47.57 wouldn't even see him reach the final in what is one of swimming's marquee events.

The gap remains even bigger in the 400m freestyle.

Stanley's national record of 3:47.67 is more than five seconds behind the winning time from last year World Championships which saw Park Tae-Hwan of Korea win in 3:42.02, Sun Yang of China win silver in 3:43.44 and Biedermann win bronze in 3:44.14.

It represents a tall order for Stanley to come close to matching these times but the next great hope from Matamata says he is far from the finished product.

"If I got down to the nitty gritty I think I could go faster. I think I went out a bit too slow tonight but apart from that I was really happy with it," he said last night.

"The top guys in the world go out really hard so I just need to work on my speed, practice my skills and that should come."