CAUTION is the name of the game for Fiona Gammond as she counts down to her first Olympic Games.

The Bicester rower is living under strict conditions at Team GB’s base, near Reading, before she flies out to Tokyo on Tuesday.

Gammond will line-up in the women’s eight in Japan, alongside four other members of Henley’s famous Leander club.

The 28-year-old is in a bubble with her teammates, at a time when catching Covid could wreck her Olympic dreams.

It means human contact is limited, but Gammond is prepared to make these sacrifices.

She said: “I don’t really know any different, because this is my first Olympic Games.

“We’re in a crew bubble, so in that respect we’re in isolation to keep us all safe.

“There’s lots more people to speak to, if you were in a single boat it could get a bit lonely.

“There’s positives of that and it’s nice to have lots of people.

“The energy’s really building, I’m absolutely loving it.”

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The world has got used to living in lockdown over the last 16 months and Gammond admits this has helped.

She said: “We’re being really careful, our crew are the only people we socialise with.

“I’ve lived quite strictly the whole year anyway, it’s much stricter now but it’s nothing I haven’t managed before.

“Even though you’re not seeing people you can still speak to them on video calls.

“It’s the way it has to be, but it’s not been too bad.”

Gammond rowed at Headington School when she was younger and was selected for the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore aged 17.

She has won gold medals in junior and senior world championships, either side of a spell studying in America.

Gammond made her senior debut at the 2016 World Rowing Championships and has been a consistent medallist in the eight.

Despite a glittering junior campaign, she has had to wait until now to become an Olympian and she is determined to savour it as much as possible.

Gammond said: “You spend the whole time so focused on getting the boat to go as fast as it can.

“Getting the kit was the first time I thought ‘I should celebrate this for a second’.

“When we get to the airport that will be another of those moments.”