Five time London Olympic medallist Alicia Coutts is breathing a sigh of relief after emerging triumphant from a strong 100m fly national final field.
Selection for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games is assured for swimming champion Alicia Coutts – now for the tricky part.
At first glance Coutts almost appeared to have taken her Glasgow nod for granted based on her muted arrival before the media following her 100m butterfly win in 57.70 seconds at the national titles in Brisbane on Wednesday night.
But Coutts, 26, was simply mentally preparing for the daunting program to come at the Glasgow trials in the lead-up to the defence of five gold medals claimed at a breakthrough 2010 Delhi Games.
“Friday will be a killer – 50m fly final, 100 free semi, 200 IM final – yeah!,” Coutts smiled.
Far from being aloof, Coutts admitted she was as nervous as ever before taking on one of the strongest women’s 100m fly fields in years.
No wonder – it boasted dual ex-British Olympian Ellen Gandy, Australian golden girl and 200m freestyle champion Emma McKeon and teenager Madeline Groves – owner of 2014′s second best 100m fly time.
“In 2010 there were still a few girls at the trials (to threaten in the 100m fly),” Coutts said.
“But after 2011 there was nobody. I was out there by myself.
“It’s good to see others coming through – three girls went faster (in the 100m fly final on Wednesday night) than the second fastest qualifier last year.”
Coutts showed her class to hit the wall just 0.1 of a second shy of her season best ahead of world championship medallist Gandy (57.98) and McKeon (57.99), who also bagged Glasgow qualifying times.
“I get as nervous at this as I do at an international meet because if you don’t get first or second normally you don’t get to go so you have to be on,” Coutts said.
“The time wasn’t quite what I had hoped for. When I touched I thought I would be way faster than that.
“But I am glad that I won and I am on the team.”
The five-time London Olympic medallist will now try to get her head around the rest of her packed Brisbane schedule.
Which explains her low key post-100m fly celebrations.
“It is a weight off the shoulders,” she said.
“But I have been in this for a while. It’s kind of like ‘cool, done’.”
On day three of national titles action in Brisbane on Thursday, finals will be held in women’s 50m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 200m breaststroke and the men’s 100m breaststroke and 200m butterfly.