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Aussie swim veteran eyes Tokyo medal

by ZwemZa on May 20th, 2020

Aussie Thomas Fraser-Holmes is hoping to qualify for Tokyo 2021 and compete at his third Olympics. Credit: AAP

Not so long ago a 12 month ban threatened to send Australian swimmer Thomas Fraser-Holmes into retirement.

But the revitalised veteran is now backing himself to cap a stellar career with a medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Fraser-Holmes, 28, says he is as motivated as ever to make a third Olympic team despite the Tokyo Games’ postponement and almost eight weeks out of the training pool due to coronavirus.

Indeed the Gold Coast-based Thomas-Fraser has cleared bigger hurdles in the past.

In 2017 Fraser-Holmes received the shattering news that he would cop a year-long suspension for neglecting to update his whereabouts with drug testers and as a result missed three doping tests in 12 months.

He contemplated hanging up the goggles before vowing to end his career on his terms at Tokyo.

“My goal when I had that break in 2017 was to come back and compete at a third Olympics, chasing something that I don’t have which is an Olympic medal,” Fraser-Holmes told Inside with Brett Hawke podcast.

“I have been to two Olympics, my goal is to finish with some silverware.”

Fraser-Holmes looked primed to start his Olympic collection at the Rio Games after announcing his arrival on the world stage in 2014.

He emerged triumphant in a world class Pan Pacs 200m freestyle final that year and swam “the perfect race” to claim 2014 Commonwealth Games gold in the same event.

He also held the 400m individual medley national record.

Yet he failed to even make the 200m freestyle final after finishing sixth in the 400m IM medal race at Rio.

He is now focusing on the 200m freestyle individual and relay events for Tokyo, admitting his utility value had brought him unstuck in the past.

“In hindsight I probably would have focused on one event. I was in the (medal) ball park for both … but never really nailed one,” he said.

A national team regular for a decade, Fraser-Holmes is known for his friendly, laid-back nature.

But the veteran said he now also had a steely focus.

“I definitely see myself as a world champion and you have to have that mentality to go anywhere in this sport,” he said.

“(But) I am more the person who has a strong inner belief … let my swimming do the talking.

“(And) I am pumped for the next 14 months. I have lot of work to do but I am very confident.”

AAP

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