Sport

Libby just keeps on smiling

The broadest grin in Australian sport doesn't leave the face of Libby Trickett - even when the dual gold medallist faces the prospect of being a tourist at the Olympic Games.

Trickett is one of six women fighting for four berths in the Australian 4x100-metres relay team, which spent the past three days in camp at the Australian Institute of Sport.

Despite the pressure and the uncertainty, that trademark smile remains. Perhaps it is because, that at 27 and more than a decade older than some of her teammates, she has achieved everything possible in the sport.

She's broken world records, won individual and relay gold medals at the Olympic Games and cleaned up at the Commonwealth Games.

Then came retirement, and the realisation her great career had come to a close. She donned the bathing suit again in 2010, put in countless early-morning training sessions and ultimately won her spot back on the national team.

Her fifth place in the final of the women's 100m at the Australian championships booked her a seat on the plane to London, but not necessarily a place on the starting blocks.

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Without any individual events to press her claims, camps like the one held in Canberra are imperative to Trickett forcing her way into the final squad.

''It's definitely an adjustment in the perception and knowing your role within the team, so that's been a really interesting process for me,'' Trickett said.

''The relays are an important part of it, but to some extent are a little bit secondary.

''I need to make sure I'm in the best possible position to give myself the best opportunity to make the final team.''

Trickett won gold in the 4x100m freestyle in Athens in 2004 and gold and bronze in the 4x100m medley and the 4x100m freestyle four years later in Beijing. She also took out the women's 100m butterfly at the 2008 Olympic Games.

''I've been a part of some amazing relays,'' she said.

''There's nothing quite like sharing that moment on the dais, where I've got to sing the national anthem a few times with someone standing beside me.''

Eight years ago, that someone was Liesel Jones.

The 26-year-old is embarking on a record-setting fourth Olympic Games and will compete in the women's 100m breaststroke.

Depending on her performance, she could swim the breaststroke leg in the medley relay, as she did for Australia to win gold at the past two Olympic Games.

''One of my favourite medals I've won was the 4x100m medley relay in Beijing where we just absolutely annihilated everyone,'' Jones said.

''It gives me goosebumps to this day. It was just the most magical experience ever and to share it with three other girls was awesome.''

AIS-based swimmers Alicia Coutts and Belinda Hocking, along with Emily Seebohm, Jessicah Schipper, Cate Campbell, Brittany Elmslie and Yolane Kukla, were also a part of the relay camp.

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