Leisel Jones has relied a little on the luck of the Irish in her bid to consolidate on her dominance of breaststroke events with two gold medals in Beijing: at camp in Kuala Lumpur, she revealed that she had gone on a radical 'soup diet' for a month to achieve peak fitness.
Under the guidance of the Australian team nutritionist Louise Burke, Jones ate a 'hearty Irish soup' for lunch and dinner for a month after she returned from a European tour in June. She just missed her world records on tour but today tells Nicole Jeffery at The Australian: 'I wasn't in as peak condition then as I am now. I'd like to think I can improve. I have been doing every little thing correctly. I have done a lot of work with Jeremy Oliver (land coach) in the gym program, a lot of cardio work, two-hour bike sessions a day, it was really challenging.'
Her events seem to be the least affected by the performance-enhancing suit(s). Not so the 'fly events in which her teammate Felcity Galvez missed a berth by 0.06sec while racing two LZR-cla swimmers. Galvez, with the Dolphins for the freestyle relays, told Michael Cowley at The Sydney Morning Herald that Speedo had been unable to find an LZR to fit her. She is 58kg and 167cms, Cowley notes.
Said Galvez: 'I tried to keep them [thoughts of being disadvantaged] out of my head as much as possible. I'm the one thinking. 'OK, don't worry about it, you've got to do your best with what you've got,' so I tried not to let it affect me too much, but when you dive in and see seven other girls next to you wearing the new suit, you're like, 'Geez, I wish I had one,' whether it worked or not.'
Galvez now has a suit that fits. No-one in the sport should feel too comfortable with the circumstances in which a woman who went on to win world short-course titles in Manchester failed to make the grade for Australia in her best event, at least partly because of technology.