Libby Trickett has had her share of Olympic disappointments. She went into the Athens Games in 2004 as the fastest woman in the world, and failed to reach the freestyle final. In Beijing in 2008 she again faultered in the 100 metres freestyle - a race in which she held the world record. First she went too easily in the semi-final and came alarmingly close to missing another final …then was granted a reprieve when a Chinese swimmer was disqualified. In the final she rocketed from the blocks in lane eight, was under world-record pace at the 50m mark, but was out-touched into silver by Germany’s Britta Steffen.
It was in the 100m butterfly that Trickett took out the first individual Olympic gold medal of her glittering career, storming home from America’s Christine Magnuson and Australia’s Jess Schipper. She later won gold again in the medley relay final, anchoring Emily Seebohm , Liesel Jones and Schipper - to add to the freestyle relay gold she had won in Athens. She came away from Beijing with two gold medals, a silver and a bronze (from the 100m freestyle relay), having missed a medal in the 50m freestyle. It was a great haul, but less than she’d hoped for.
Having officially retired from the sport in 2009 she made a comeback in late 2010 with her heart set on making the London 2012 Games. Trickett did just that when she finished fifth in the 100m freestyle at the2012 Australian Olympic trials, just missing out on the 50m freestyle after finishing fourth. At the London 2012 Olympic Games Trickett swum in the heat of the 4 x 100m freestyle relay before the Australian Team went on to win gold in the final.
Trickett (formerly Lenton) won five gold medals at the 2007 world championships, equalling the record of Tracy Caulkins (USA).
Harry Gordon, AOC Historian