Melanie Wright of Australia looks on after winning the Women's 100m Freestyle final during day two of the FINA World Swimming Cup 2015 at the Hamad Aquatic Centre on November 3, 2015 in Doha, Qatar.
Melanie Wright of Australia looks on after winning the Women's 100m Freestyle final during day two of the FINA World Swimming Cup 2015 at the Hamad Aquatic Centre on November 3, 2015 in Doha, Qatar. Francois Nel

On the Wright track

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Melanie Wright is intent on making her final Games campaign count.

The 29-year-old Sunshine Coaster will in April press her selection claims for a spot in the Australian team, which will compete in Rio de Janeiro in August.

But it won't be easy, with a host of stars vying for tickets to Brazil.

"It's definitely my last Olympics and most likely my last roll of the dice all together so it's an exciting time, trying to get myself into the best possible shape I can before April," she said.

"It's always tough in my events, the 50m and 100m freestyle. The depth of talent in this country is second to none.

"I think we've got five or six girls in the top 10 in the world in the 100m free, which is absolutely incredible.

"It means you need to be in the top two in the world (to earn a spot in that event), which makes it really tough.

"But at the same time it makes our relay team pretty formidable."

With frontrunners Cate and Bronte Campbell, along with Emma McKeon, fellow Coast product Brittany Elmslie, Emily Seebohm, Alicia Coutts and some talented youngsters in the mix, the pressure is on Wright.

But Australia normally takes six swimmers in the relay squad.

And in the past, it's in the 4x100m where Wright has made a name for herself.

She anchored the Australian team in the final at the London Games in 2012, when her fastest split (52.65) propelled the team to a new Olympic record (3:33.15).

Wright believes she has what it takes to get into the team again.

"I know I can be fast and I've had a couple of races at the World Cup in November that were really encouraging, some of the fastest times I've done in season ever," she said.

"I'm looking to improve. I just want to be a little bit faster than I've been before and if I can do that I know I'll be in good nick to be in that relay team and who knows on the day what that will bring.

"I think I'm a good shot at

making a third Olympics."

Wright also won 4x200m freestyle gold at Beijing in 2008 but her focus at the national championships will be on the 50m and 100m freestyle.

"I've given up the 200. I'm getting a bit older and I don't recover as well as I used to. To manage training for the 200 and the 100 (is too difficult)," she said.

Wright, who trains on the Gold Coast, was back with family on the Sunshine Coast during Christmas.

She did some work at the University of the Sunshine Coast pool, where coach Chris Mooney has a strong contingent of swimmers.

Wright will contest the Victoria championships and may contest the New South Wales championships before taking on the national trials.



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