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Australia’s ever smiling queen of the pool, Libby Trickett, has been integral in our recent world dominance in swimming. The former multiple world champion and Olympic medalist was living in Sydney after ''falling out of love'' with the sport she once ruled and quit at the end of 2009. Her inspirational comeback to the pool and dedication to make the Australian team for the upcoming London Olympics displays an awesome achievement.
Trickett, 27, has just celebrated qualifying for her third Olympics after drawing on all her powers and experience to finish fifth in the 100 metre freestyle final at the national championships and earning a place on the 4 x 100 relay team.
Libby Trickett (nee Lenton) remains one of the brightest stars of the Australian Swimming Team, an Athens and Beijing gold medalist, current holder of five world records, and former holder (with teammates Alice Mills, Petria Thomas, and Jodie Henry) of the world record in the women's 4x100m relay.
At the 2004 Australian Olympic Swimming Selection Trials Libby blitzed the field with a World Record in the 100m freestyle, set the second fastest Australian time ever in the 100m butterfly and broke the Australian Record in the 50m freestyle to qualify for her first Olympic Games.
Libby continued her success with outstanding performances at the recent 2004 Athens Olympics. On the opening night of swimming competition, Libby and her team mates secured Australia's first female Olympic relay victory in the pool since Melbourne in 1956. They won gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay and broke the World Record at the same time. Libby then added a bronze medal to her collection with a super performance in the 50m freestyle individual event. Libby claimed her first individual world crown when she won gold in the 100m freestyle at the 2004 World Short Course Championships. She then produced the fastest 100m freestyle split ever recorded to anchor the 4x100m freestyle relay team to gold and a new world record.
2003 was the year that launched Libby Trickett into the elite ranks of Australian swimming. At the 2003 Telstra Australian Championships Libby broke the Australian record when she won her first open Australian title in the 50m freestyle. Libby went on to make her international debut at the Duel in the Pool meet in Indianapolis, winning the 100m freestyle and breaking her own Australian record to win the 50m freestyle, becoming the first Australian woman in history to crack the 25 second barrier!
At the 2006 Commonwealth Games she won silver medals in the Women's 200m freestyle and 100m butterfly events. She defeated Henry to claim the 50m and 100m freestyle, and was a part of the winning 4x200 m and 4x100m freestyle relay teams, as well as breaking the world record in the 4x100m medley relay, where her split of 52.87 s eclipsed the previous best by Henry. She took 5 of Australia's 12 gold medals in the 2006 Short Course Worlds in Shanghai, being named the leading female swimmer of the meet.
At the 2007 FINA World Championships in Melbourne, Libby claimed Gold again. Combining with Shayne Reese, rookie Melanie Schlanger and great mate Jodie Henry, Libby led the Australian 4x100m freestyle relay team in a world championship record time of 3:35.48, ahead of the USA in 3:35.68 and the Netherlands in 3:36.81.
On March 26 of that year, Libby added another gold by winning the women's 100m butterfly in a championship record time - 57.15 seconds - touching the wall just 0.09 seconds ahead of her second-placed team-mate Jessicah Schipper and American Natalie Coughlin. Then, on April 1, she won another gold by an amazing nine one-hundredths of a second.
Libby is now the only woman in the history of swimming to have a time under 53 seconds for the 100m freestyle event and under 24 seconds for the 50m freestyle event.
At the Beijing Olympics, Libby contested the 50m freestyle, the 100m freestyle and the 100m butterfly, as well as playing a crucial role in all three relays. She won four medals (two gold, a silver, and a bronze), topped off with a World Record in the 4x100m Medley Relay. Libby is truly one of our great athletes.
With an infectious smile and affable persona, Libby Trickett is not only a highly respected athlete, but a well recognised and revered personality.