Tokyo focus for Fraser Coast swimmer
SWIMMING: For national swimming representative Keira Stephens the comfort of following the black line on the bottom of the swimming has returned.
The Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre reopened on Monday allowing the Olympic hopeful the opportunity to return to training in the pool.
Stephens had continued to train during lockdown with morning ocean swims followed by gym sessions in the afternoon.
"Swimming in the ocean was different and I couldn't ensure I was swimming in a straight line," Stephens said.
She found battling the tide difficult keeping a wary eyelooking for sealife during her morning swims.
With the cancellation of the 2020 Olympics the Hervey Bay swimmer has now set her sights on Tokyo 2021.
"I was to attend the national swim trials in June but they were cancelled until next June due to the pandemic," she said.
Coach Caleb Ryan was pleased with the effort Keira made during isolation.
"She really committed during isolation but it is great to have her back working in the pool," Ryan said.
The immediate focus for Stephens has turned towards the national short course swimming championships scheduled for October in Melbourne.
She is focusing on the 100 metre breaststroke and the 200 metre individual medley as she prepares.
Stephens is energised after competing at the World Para Swimming Championships in London as part of the Australian Dolphins swim team last year.
Her best result was a fourth in the women's 100 metre breaststroke (SB9).
"London was a great experience in and out of the water and showed me what I need to do," she said.
Stephens plans to continue working with coach Ryan and improving her technique until she races again.
"I just want to continue to improve," she said.