Sarah Barrow has her eyes firmly on Rio after stunning 2012
SARAH BARROW has no sooner closed the chapter on her most successful year than the Olympian is planning ahead to her final bow in Brazil in 2016.
The Plymouth Diving and Great Britain star has pencilled in the Rio de Janeiro Games as her last competition.
Barrow, in tandem with Tonia Couch, has become one of the world's leading 10m platform partnerships, achieved through a natural talent, self-belief, hard work and dedication.
The trick now for Barrow is staying at the top over the coming four years so she can end her career at back-to-back Olympics.
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The 24-year-old Barrow achieved her ambition of competing at the 2012 London Games where she and fellow Plymothian Couch finished fifth in a high-quality final.
The Great Britain 10m platform pairing, though, did spend time on the podium in 2012, winning gold with Couch at the European Championships and also securing a bronze medal at the prestigious Fina Diving World Cup in London last February.
In so doing, they also wrote themselves into the history books for being the first British medallists at the brand-new London Aquatics Centre.
Barrow admits she, along with her best mate Couch, is enjoying a golden period and insists they are both determined to hold on to the hard-won lofty perch in the diving pecking order.
So, there will be no room for complacency as Barrow knows only too well, there may well be a young pretender in the wings just waiting to trip her up.
Barrow said: "Yes, last year was definitely a really great time in my career – I still get excited thinking about it.
"Competing at the Olympics, of course, was fantastic, especially a home Games, as was becoming European champions and winning a World Cup bronze in London with Ton (Couch).
"We've built up a reputation and set a standard for ourselves and I know we're going to have to work hard to keep to that level.
"My plan, if all goes well, is to retire after Rio, I'll be approaching 29 by that time and will have been diving for 17 of those years.
"I am confident about both mine and Ton's ability, but you never know. Four years is a long time and there are injuries and other divers out there who will want our number one spot.
"Me and Ton are both fighters and know the hard work and sacrifice we've had to put in and make to get where we are.
"For example, over the festive break, the only days we had off were Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.
"The rest of the holiday was spent at the Life Centre with our coach Andy (Banks) and team-mate Tom (Daley).
"But I'm not complaining, far from it, as I love the sport and know how lucky we all are to have a fabulous facility like the Life Centre to train and work in.
"And although the ultimate aim is to make it to Rio with Team GB, I'm not looking any further forward than this year and the events I'll be competing in."