Returning swimming champion Grant Hackett will stick to his plan of earning a spot in next year’s Olympics through the 200m freestyle.
The two-time Olympic 1500m champion made his first competitive appearance since the 2008 Beijing Games during a qualifying meet in Brisbane last weekend.
The 34-year-old swam the 200m, 400m and 100m freestyle events, winning the 400m in a time which would have qualified him for the final at last year’s national championships.
Despite that result, Hackett’s coach Denis Cotterell says the shorter 200m, and a potential relay spot, remains the best way for his charge to secure a spot on the plane to Rio.
Hackett’s 200m time at last weekend’s Brisbane meet was a 1:50.68, well off the 1:45.46 Cameron McEvoy swam on his way to the title at last year’s nationals.
Cotterell says there’s no plan to switch Hackett’s focus to a longer event.
“He’s not going to find that time. It’s a really long bow to expect he could get back in a distance event in a short time frame. It isn’t easy,” Cotterell told AAP.
“Plenty have tried and failed. Especially in shorter events, you can’t fake the preparation for that. That needs time to package it.”