London Eye: World champion hot to Trott in pursuit of double gold

Briton who was born with a collapsed lung vomits after every race but is not nervous about the Games

"I feel fine," says Laura Trott. "The jet lag's not hit yet." She has only been back in the country for a day, barely long enough to unpack the bags in which are folded two jerseys bearing the distinctive rainbow stripes of a world champion.

"The team pursuit I thought we had a chance of winning," says Trott of last week's world championships in Melbourne, where she took two gold medals in three days. "Breaking the world record again – fine, that would have been more than enough. To win the omnium as well was overwhelming. It's the best thing that's happened to me – being double world champion. And it being an Olympic year as well. Pretty crazy!"

Pretty crazy is an expression Trott uses regularly, perhaps because it seems the most appropriate way to sum up the last year, if not her entire 19 years. Trott is the bright young thing of British cycling, the latest bike off what has been the most impressive production line in British sport over the last decade. She is next in line to Victoria Pendleton and Co, who have made this country the pre-eminent force in track cycling. So rapid has been the prodigy's progress that she, rather than, say, Sir Chris Hoy, is now seen as Britain's best hope of double gold in the velodrome in August.

Trott is part of the team pursuit – with Dani King and Jo Rowsell – who broke the world record twice in Melbourne, and goes on her own in the omnium, the six-race event that makes its Olympic debut in London.

Like her event, Trott will be a first-timer in London and it is cycling's good fortune that she has found her way there on two wheels. Given the choice, she might have been preparing for the Games as a trampolinist. "I enjoyed it more than cycling," she says of her first sporting passion. She was approaching international standard when one day she went up and couldn't remember coming down. She fainted mid leap. "I was learning how to do a double back – two back somersaults – and as I went up I didn't have a clue what happened. My coach said I came down like a sack of potatoes." Her club said "enough" and the track took over. "If that hadn't happened, I wouldn't be here."

Trott was born prematurely, with a collapsed lung, and her parents were encouraged to get her into sport as she grew up, to help correct the damage. That and her mother's desire to lose weight took the family – her sister, Emma, is a road racer based in Belgium – to Welwyn Garden City for a try-out at the nearest track.

"It's a random story but that was that. I loved it," she says.

There is another physical quirk that still nags Trott. After every race she throws up, because of high acidity levels in her stomach. At the Commonwealth Games she was caught on the big screen, being sick into a bucket. At the London World Cup this year she had to walk away from a BBC interview.

Trott is slight, her frame giving no indication of the speed and power she possesses. But her ability was always apparent to British cycling (she's coached by the Olympic gold winner Paul Manning). In late 2008 she began training alongside the big guns, Pendleton et al. "I was scared going into my first session. I was like 'Oh, my god. They're not going to talk to me.' But it's one big happy family."

It was not, though, a straightforward move. Trott switched from home in Hertfordshire – the Olympic Park is her "back garden" – to Manchester two years ago. "I set the oven on fire the second day, trying to cook a jacket potato. I hated it and wanted to go home." But the "happy family" took a grip, and now the cooking is under control – speciality shepherd's pie – the elders are passing on advice on how to deal with the Games. "Treat it as another bike race. Because that's what it is. It's no different from the worlds – I'm going to race the same girls and my team-mates are the same."

That is easy to say, but that's the striking quality about the effervescent Trott; she has treated everything so far as another bike race. And it works.

"I do this every day. I don't get that nervous. People don't make me nervous either. When I went to my first World Cup I was like, 'Wow, all these big names.' But then I thought, 'Hang on, why should I give them any more respect? I'm here. I've earned this.'"

The dynamics have since changed, even more so in the last week. Now she's the one the rest look out for. "Everyone says, 'It's yours to lose.' But it's not, is it?" Does she think about winning gold? "Oh yeah, I'd love to win gold. It would be massive – just to win one. I've been using these events as stepping stones to London. I'm really excited, it's going to be my first Olympics, which is pretty crazy because I never thought I'd go to 2012. At 20 [her birthday is in two weeks] it is young to go to an Olympics – most are 24 or older. It's pretty crazy."

Laura Trott is representing Samsung at Gadget Show Live 2012. For more information, visit www.samsung.com

Olympic news you may have missed...

Three years after her retirement, four-time Olympian Donna Fraser is pondering a comeback. The 39-year-old has competed for Croydon Harriers since bowing out of the global scene in 2009 and she has been combining a coaching trip to California with some training. Last weekend she clocked 12 seconds flat in a 100m race in Los Angeles.

The NZ Olympic Committee president, Mike Stanley, and Athletics NZ chief Scott Newman have begged 17-year-old shot put phenomenon Jacko Gill to reverse his decision to miss the London Olympics – he was upset at being passed over at first – in favour of defending his world junior title this summer.

What's coming up...

Today South African track and field championships in Port Elizabeth. Oscar Pistorius and Caster Semenya are present.

Tomorrow Dwain Chambers and Usain Bolt are expected to be in rival 4x100m teams in the UTech Classic meeting in Kingston, Jamaica. World champion Yohan Blake is due to line up in the 100m.

Sunday Paula Radcliffe starts her season in the Vienna Half Marathon. She will get a head start on Ethiopian evergreen Haile Gebrselassie in a special catch-me-if-you-can contest.

Monday Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai defends his Boston Marathon title.

Who's up?

Tiffany Porter The British team captain at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul last month clocked her fastest ever summer-season opener, winning the 100m hurdles in 12.96sec at the Florida Relays in Gainesville.

Richard Kilty The Teesside sprinter, coached by Linford Christie, was in fine early-season form at Tempe in the United States, winning the 100m in 10.23sec and the 200m in 20.50sec, both personal bests.

Who's down?

Dave Roberts One of GB's greatest all-time Paralympians, he has failed to gain selection for London 2012 after injury and illness.

Mark Lewis-Francis Clocked a modest 10.33sec for second place in another of the 100m races at the Tempe meeting.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Danish director Lars von Trier
filmEnglish-language series with 'huge' international cast set for 2016
Life and Style
tech
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering