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Time running out for Rice

Date

Michael Cowley

Stephanie Rice is facing more surgery if she wants to keep swimming.

Stephanie Rice is facing more surgery if she wants to keep swimming. Photo: Steve Christo

STEPHANIE Rice's coach, Michael Bohl, admitted yesterday he remains unsure whether she will retire or return to the pool, but conceded if she hopes to swim at next year's world championships in Spain, her decision needs to be imminent.

Rice is believed to still be contemplating her future and is said to be 50-50 about what she will decide. But she was also hoping to wait a few months and see how her troublesome shoulder settles down after the Olympics, before deciding.

Bohl said yesterday that while she has the benefit of world championship selection trials being held later (April-May) next year, time is running out. He said her decision is more than just about her shoulder, it is whether she has the hunger, and if not she would be wasting her time. He hopes to get an insight into her thoughts tomorrow.

''She is just doing her own stuff at the moment, she's back doing a bit of gym, but we haven't seen her at the pool,'' Bohl said.

''I'm actually having a chat with her this Friday. We're going to Toowoomba to open a pool up, and I asked her to come along with me, so we'll probably have a bit of a discussion in the car on the way. There is no question if she is going on she will have to have the operation.

''The longer Steph leaves it [making a decision] the less likelihood there is that she will be able to do something in the short term and by the short term I'm talking about the world championships next year. The longer it takes to make these decisions, the harder it's going to be for her to come back.''

Bohl said he had stayed away from Rice so she could spend time with family and friends, and take an overseas holiday.

Asked if he had a gut feeling which way she might go, he admitted he did not. He added it was important that she kept physically fit.

But her fitness and shoulder are not the main issues, he said.

''Whether you have the hunger and desire to do it again, that's first and foremost,'' he said. ''You can get the shoulder right and everything else, but if you haven't got that burning hunger inside you to step up another time, then you know you are kind of wasting your time a little bit.

''That's the thing Steph's got to really decide. She is the one who will have to drive this. If she's wanting to come back and swim I'm happy to coach her, but if she wants to stop I'll be patting her on the back and saying you've done a great job and had a great career. It's in her corner now.''

Bohl also revealed Nick D'Arcy's Olympics had been savaged by a shoulder injury that required immediate surgery as soon as he returned home.

He wasn't expecting D'Arcy back in the pool for the time being as he focused on his radiography studies.

''He had some big problems over in London with his shoulder. He tore something in the back of his shoulder and that inhibited him from performing well,'' Bohl said. He was unsure of the exact tear.

''Nick didn't want it broadcast when he was over there and didn't want it to sound like he was making excuses, but we just knew something was wrong.

''He had a scan straight after he had finished racing and that showed the tear in the back of his shoulder. He had the operation almost as soon as he got back from Europe.''

19 comments so far

  • Her shoulder may be troubling her, but to me it looks like her mind isn't on the job.

    Commenter
    Warren
    Location
    Lysterfield
    Date and time
    October 11, 2012, 8:53AM
    • Hope you're wrong mate.

      The lead up to Brazil just won't be the same without Steph tweeting pics of herself in the tiny-weeny-bikinis.

      Keep her on the team if only to lift morale...of the spectators...

      Commenter
      Alex
      Location
      Geelong
      Date and time
      October 11, 2012, 9:34AM
    • I agree, she seems burnt out or over it or something. Steph needs to find her own head space and work out want she wants for the future. Can I mention Kobe Bryant here? Find your own head space Steph, you are much better than him.

      Commenter
      Guru Josh
      Location
      Melbourne CBD
      Date and time
      October 11, 2012, 10:14AM
  • Personally, I would love to see Stephanie Rice continue to swim and it would be great to see her at the Rio Olympics in 2016. I'm sure whatever she chooses to do she will be successful, and I would like to wish her all the best. Beautiful young lady, great personality and extremely talented... which is far more than I can say for all her haters out there !

    Commenter
    Eric Major
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    October 11, 2012, 9:02AM
    • Rice had a swimming career? When? I thought she was a brand power salesperson?

      Commenter
      Jay
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      October 11, 2012, 9:02AM
      • Jay - let's see you out there winning an Olympic Gold medal in the two toughest events - the 200 and 400 IM. She has been struggling with injury since Beijing, and it was a gutsy effort to final twice in London with this impediment to her preparation and performance. It would be great to see her shoulder repaired, and for her to have a go at Rio. Yes, she's made some mistakes, but are you perfect Jay ? You've shown you can talk it, can you walk it ?

        Commenter
        Steve
        Location
        Albury
        Date and time
        October 11, 2012, 9:25AM
      • Yes Jay, she had a swimming career, and I'm tipping she's got 3 more Olympic gold medals than you have........

        Commenter
        JB
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        October 11, 2012, 9:28AM
      • After the UK effort the Sunset on Sunrise!

        Commenter
        Pickled Herring
        Location
        Frankston
        Date and time
        October 11, 2012, 10:26AM
      • Jay... If I was a a marketable person in a profession that only lasted until the age of 30 (at the most) I would take advantage of whatever projects came my way as well. It's a pretty smart idea to set yourself up for life in your 20's, rather than get to the age of 30 and then try and figure out what you want to do. For some reason Australians are becoming far more resentful towards elite sportspeople, but the reality is thier dream only lasts for so long. Lets be honest... Everyone would do the same thing if given the opportunity !

        Commenter
        Eric Major
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        October 11, 2012, 10:42AM
    • This article tells you that is wrong in Australian swimming.

      We should be talking about young swimmers taking the opportunity to shine, then Australia would be a power house nation again.

      Any sporting team however great will be beaten one day by younger hungrier competitors. We need to be better at ensuring it is our young team that beats our old team.

      Commenter
      Happy
      Location
      Woodend
      Date and time
      October 11, 2012, 9:10AM

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