Seebohm eyes big splash in Rio next year
After success at worlds, Seebohm sets her sights on next year's Olympics
She's won gold medals at the Pan Pacific Championships and the Commonwealth Games in nine years as an Australian swimmer.
Emily Seebohm has sung "Advance Australia Fair" standing at the top of the medals podium at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, respectively, as part of winning relay quartets.
But the World Championships this year in Kazan, Russia, was when the 23-year-old backstroke specialist moved from "nearly there" to "arrived".
The 2012 Olympic 100m backstroke silver medallist won both the women's 100m and 200m backstroke golds in August, her first individual titles at world level.
"The Commonwealth Games and the Pan Pacs are a different level of competition, it's not as big as the Worlds or Olympics," said Seebohm, after co-helming a talk to about 60 young swimmers and parents, alongside Jamaica's Alia Atkinson, at the Singapore Sports Institute yesterday.
"The wins really showed me that I was strong enough to do it, that I was tough enough, and that mentally I could finish off a race and get out on top."
She was in tears after losing the 100m backstroke gold to American star Missy Franklin by 0.35 seconds at the 2012 Olympics.
But the 1.80m-tall swimmer, who flew back to Australia last night, said the loss gave her even more motivation.
The tremendous mental strength she's built up since has helped her reach the top this year, even though she changed her coach and suffered a knee dislocation just months before the meet in Kazan.
Seebohm said: "What I did in Kazan was what I thought I could do the last few years, but just didn't get that little bit extra.
"Working with the sports psychologists and Swimming Australia has been so incredibly helpful."
The two individual world titles have been followed by eight World Cup wins over five legs, including a 100m backstroke win in Singapore on Sunday, when she also clocked her 10th sub-59 second swim in the event this year.
It all gives Seebohm a major shot in the arm as she works towards her ultimate goal - winning an individual Olympic gold in Rio next year.
She said: "A relay gold is incredible, but standing up there (at the top of the podium) by myself, knowing that I was the one who put in the training and all the sacrifices that I didn't want to make, it just feels better.
"It's awesome and super exciting having three girls with me on the podium, but when it's just yourself there, it's like, 'man, I did it. I did this by myself'."
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