Treffers takes long view after Olympic heartbreak

Treffers takes long view after Olympic heartbreak

Canberra swimmer Ben Treffers hopes making the sport fun again will help him move on from his failed Olympic Games bid and has vowed to use the agonisingly close defeat to make him stronger.

Treffers's London dreams were shattered when he finished third in the 100metres backstroke final at the Australian Olympic trials in Adelaide on Saturday night. And making the missed qualification even harder to swallow was the 0.11 second margin which ended his hopes of competing at his first Olympic Games.

It was a massive shock for the reigning Australian champion.

Instead of returning to the capital this week preparing for the biggest journey of his young career, Treffers will reassess his goals and is determined to make amends in the future.

''It's tough to swallow because I had a great preparation, the best I've ever had,'' Treffers said.


''To end with a result like that is disappointing because I wasn't able to achieve what I thought I was capable of doing - there's no other way to put it.

''I've got to move on and see what else I can do this year … the Olympics comes down to a one-off chance and I got beaten. Maybe on another day it would have been different.''

Treffers's career has been haunted by tiny losing margins.

He has twice previously missed out on selection on an Australian team by 0.01s, but he broke through last year when he was crowned the 100m backstroke champion and raced at the world titles in Shanghai.

He looked set to continue his impressive rise through the ranks when he got a lightning start to the selection race in Adelaide on the weekend.

Treffers was in front of Hayden Stoeckel after the first 50m and his Olympic dream was still intact.

But it fell apart in the dying stages as he faded to finish third behind winner Stoeckel and Daniel Arnamnart, with the top two winning selection.

The defeat was still sinking in for Treffers yesterday.

He had hoped to be able to beat his personal best time of 53.72s, but he will have to wait another four years before getting his chance to make his Olympic debut.

''I wasn't feeling 100 per cent [before the race], but that isn't an excuse. I still thought I was capable of getting a spot in the team,'' Treffers said. ''I was swimming well and I just didn't have it in the tank to finish the race off.

''Definitely coming into the meet I thought I was capable of going faster than my PB and that was my goal.

''I feel like I couldn't have done anything better or differently to put me in a better position.''

Treffers still has to race the 50m backstroke in Adelaide, but it is not an Olympic event.

When he arrives back in Canberra he will meet with coach John Fowlie and map out a racing plan to move forward.

He will likely compete in Europe and the short course world championships later this year before setting his sights on next year's world titles in Barcelona.

''It does add motivation for me. From here it's about racing overseas and making the most of this year,'' Treffers said.

''I've got to learn from this experience … My motivation hasn't been deterred, I'm still young and looking forward to trying to make the team next year.

''I'm looking forward to just getting back to training and enjoying my swimming and enjoy racing again.''

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