Coach John Fowlie says missing worlds a ‘blessing’ for Canberra swimmer Alicia Coutts

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Swimming coach John Fowlie says five-time Olympic Games medallist Alicia Coutts missing this year’s world championships squad could be a “blessing” ahead of next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Fowlie added Coutts’ fellow Canberran Ben Treffers would use this year’s worlds to gain valuable experience and ensure he’s also part of the Rio squad.

There’s been speculation Coutts would retire, given she missed out on the worlds and has recently struggled with injury, but Fowlie said she would be back training on Monday with Rio the goal. […]

Coutts tore her labrum three months ago and Fowlie said it was a remarkable effort just to compete at the nationals, let alone post such a competitive time.

He said missing out on the worlds meant she could now focus on next year’s Olympic selection trials and expected her to be in peak condition to push for a spot at Rio.

“Looking at the bigger picture for Alicia, this allows her more time to keep progressing now and focus on a 12-month preparation to Olympic trials and a 16-month preparation until the Olympics,” Fowlie said.

“In some ways it’s a bit of a blessing to give her some more time to get ready for the Olympics.

Read Sydney Morning Herald

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