Beijing Diary From The Deck
Craig Lord
Henry says London 2012 is a journey too far; no place for politics in the pool

Henry: London Is A Stroke Too Far

Jodie Henry, reigning 100m free champion for a few more days, has said that should she return to swimming, she is unlikely to make it as far as London 2012. She told reporters: "At the moment, I think if I continue to swim, I don't know I would swim on to London. I don't know what I want to do after swimming, but I know I want to do something besides swimming. But who knows?" The 24-year-old dropped out of Australians trials this year after developing an abdominal condition. Asked how she felt when watching her former teammates in action in Beijing, she replied: "I have mixed emotions. I'm sad, I'm happy, I'm nervous. I'm so nervous for the people who are going to be competing, but it's going to be really sad when I have to watch my 100 (freestyle event).'" She concluded her interview with the words of one who appears to be resigned to a more permanent retirement from swimming: "When I'm older I'll look back on it (Athens) and think, `Wow, I achieved something'."

One Dream, One Lack Of Respect

An Iranian swimmer pulled out of the Olympic Games men's 100m breaststroke heats on day one of racing, just minutes before he was due to compete against an Israeli rival. Mohammad Alirezaei's lane was empty when the field left the starting blocks. Israel's Tom Beeri finished fourth. During the 2004 Athens Olympics, Iran's judo world champion Arash Miresmaeili refused to compete against Ehud Vaks of Israel. One Dream, One World. Chances are, however, that Alirezaei was off shopping somewhere and couldn't be bothered testing himself over two laps of the pool. His actions show a lack of respect for the Olympic movement and not only his fellow competitors in Beijing but all the thousands of swimmers worldwide who would get to the wall well before him at an event they would surely loved to have competed at.