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Jones Gunning For Thorpe's Record Nine

Apr 30, 2012  - Craig Lord

Leisel Jones has won eight Olympic medals - and in London 2012 aims to get past the all-time Australian record of nine medals won by fellow swimmer and firmer teammate Ian Thorpe.

Jones, down for the 100m breaststroke, in which she will defend the crown, and 4x100m medley (a heats swim alone would grant her a medal if Australia make the podium in the final), cannot catch the quality of the Thorpe tally, which includes five golds, but the target of nine overall is on.

"To equal Ian Thorpe's record would be amazing. I would like to think I was a pretty good chance in the 100 metre breaststroke, so I've been training my arse off," she tells the Canberra Times in true Aussie spirit. "It's a nice little tick on the CV."

At 26, Jones is 12 years past her first medal success at a home Games in Sydney as a 14-year-old bolter in the ranks. Of the difference between then and now, she told the paper: "I'm much more relaxed and I don't have a lot of pressure on myself, which is nice. I didn't enjoy the experience very much in my first three Olympics. 

"In Beijing, I still hadn't won an individual gold medal and that was sort of weighing on me a lot. I've won individual medals, I've won relays, I've done everything, so I just want to take it all in."