Stubblety-Cook addresses Chinese rival’s positive drugs test


As well as beating Stubblety-Cook to win breaststroke gold over 200m in Fukuoka, Qin also picked up victories in the 50m and 100m events.

Stubblety-Cook, who in 2021 became the first Australian male to win Olympic 200m breaststroke gold in 57 years, said his world championship silver medal last year had “absolutely” lit the fire within.

Stubblety-Cook poses during a Swimming Australia media opportunity in Brisbane on Sunday.

Stubblety-Cook poses during a Swimming Australia media opportunity in Brisbane on Sunday. Credit: Getty

“I was very motivated after Fukuoka,” Stubblety-Cook said. “I knew I was swimming well but not as well as I wanted to be. I’ve come back and gotten fitter and stronger and I’m in a good place now.

“You definitely chase that feeling. If anything, last year in Fukuoka was a little bit of a bonus to push that hunger again.

“I still remember very vividly looking down the end of the pool in Tokyo and being like, how f—ing cool is this? Literally, that’s what I said to myself.”

Before Australia’s trials, which run from Monday to Saturday, there is a confidence this Dolphins team can do something special in Paris given they topped the world championship medal table last year, winning 13 golds to the USA’s seven.

Stubblety-Cook isn’t putting added pressure on himself to complete back-to-back Olympic victories.

“We’re not chasing medals, it’s all chasing individual performances,” he said. “When we all chase our best individual performances as a group, that’s when we get the best out of each other.

“I think if you’re chasing a gold medal, you put too much pressure on yourself.”

Heats start from 11 am AEST each day before finals begin at 7.30 pm at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre.

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Night one features the men’s and women’s 400m freestyle finals, with Ariarne Titmus, Lani Pallister, Sam Short and Elijah Winnington hoping to book their tickets to Paris.

Titmus, the reigning 200m and 400m freestyle Olympic champion, says she is primed and ready to go.

“I’m looking forward to hopefully just ticking that box and racing my best in six weeks’ time,” Titmus said.

Australia’s Paralympic stars will also be vying for selection ahead of the Games starting August 28.

2024 Australian swimming trials; exclusive, live and free on Channel 9 and 9Now from Monday June 10. Finals start at 7.30pm AEST each night.

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