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Susie O’Neill urges Alicia Coutts to continue in the pool, go to Rio and become one of Australia’s greats

August 2, 2013
Australia's Alicia Coutts swims to take silver in the Women's 200m individual medley final at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Barcelona. Picture: Michael Sohn Source: AP

Australia’s Alicia Coutts swims to take silver in the Women’s 200m individual medley final at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Barcelona. Picture: Michael Sohn Source: AP

Australian swimming golden girl Susie O’Neill has urged Alicia Coutts to go to Rio and plough on toward greatness.

O’Neill was responding to reports this week that Coutts had not committed to swim past the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championships.

O’Neill encouraged the Chisholm Catholic College old girl not to retire post-Commonwealth Games, claiming if Coutts stayed in the pool she could finish alongside Australia’s greatest swimmers.

“I hope she goes to Rio and I’d urge her to keep going,” O’Neill said.

“It would be good to see her get to number one in the world after winning a few silvers and I think she has a good chance.

“She is right up there with the great female swimmers of the country and I don’t think she got the kudos she deserved after winning five medals in London.

“I think she is really tough and similar to me in the way it has taken a few successful events to get noticed and I’m glad she is now.

“I presume by saying she hasn’t committed that she is trying to take the pressure off and I know after London it was hard to get motivated but I had a chat with her and it is completely normal to struggle to get the hunger back straight away.”

At last year’s Olympics Coutts snared a record equalling five medals, putting her deeds in the same breathe as the legendary Thorpe and Shane Gould.

Coutts has won 20 international medals since 2010 and already secured five at this year’s World Championships.

She is a chance of increasing her tally to six by Sunday if successful in the 50m butterfly and 4 x 100m freestyle women’s finals.

 

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