Swimmer Ollie Taverner has been savouring the experience of competing in a multi-sport international event for the first time, despite having some frustrations to contend with.

The Watford athlete is taking part in the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Gyor, Hungary, this week after being called up by Team GB for the first time.

The event is giving the 16-year-old, who is one of Britain’s leading young talents in the sport, his first taste of Olympic-style competition and it is an environment which the Watford Swimming Club member has found inspiring.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “The atmosphere before every race is like no other. Talk about the noise, it’s magical.”

Following his call-up last month, the Mount Kelly Swimming student told the Watford Observer he was looking forward to the mental and physical test of competing in a new environment, wanted to enjoy the experience and use it as a learning curve.

The EYOF has thrown up its share of competitive situations for Taverner to deal with after he began the week by coming 10th in the preliminaries of the 100m breaststroke in a time of 1.05.18.

But with only one competitor from each nation allowed to progress under festival rules, he missed out on a place in Monday's semi-finals to teammate Kyle Booth, whose qualification time was 0.1 seconds quicker.

Further frustration followed yesterday when after helping Britain’s 4x100m mixed medley relay team advance through the heats, he was not selected for the final in which the quartet finished seventh.

The Watford swimmer was back in the water for the 200m breaststroke this morning and finished 21st overall in 2.27.58, narrowly outside his season’s best time. Taverner was pleased with his performance though, having described himself as "feeling heavy all week” his mum, Lisa, said.

A national champion and a holder of junior records, Taverner already has experience of mixing it with the world’s elite after racing in the same British Championship 50m breaststroke heat as world record holder and global champion Adam Peaty this year.