SYDNEY // The triple Olympic gold medallist Libby Trickett is coming out of retirement in the hope of representing Australia in swimming at the 2012 London games. Trickett, 25, told an Australian television network Wednesday she realized in the months since her retirement that she wasn't quite ready to stop competing. "Throughout the course of this year there were little things that made me miss it," she said. "Just the smell of the pool during race time, just things that (recalled) my memories."
Trickett said her decision to return was "solidified" by watching swimmers at last month's Pan Pacific championships. "I guess I was just ready to test myself again and really I just want to see how far I can take my swimming and see how fast I can get," she said. Trickett first raced for Australia at the 2003 world championships, winning a bronze medal in the 50-metre freestyle and 4x100m relay. She went on to win her first Olympic gold in the 4x100 relay at the 2004 Athens Games and peaked at the 2007 world championships, where she claimed five gold medals. She won relay and individual golds at the 2008 Beijing Olympics but her performances waned by the 2009 world championships. Trickett announced last September that she was taking a break from the sport and announced her retirement in December.
Meanwhile another Australian triple gold winner in the pool, Stephanie Rice, said she has undergone successful surgery on her right shoulder to repair a long-term injury which threatened her build-up to the 2012 London Olympics. Rice told followers on the social networking site Twitter today that the surgery in Melbourne was apparently successful. "Just got out of surgery. Things went well, thank you God," Rice tweeted. "Just cleaned the bursa in my right shoulder. U guys have been so supportive!!" Rice opted for surgery while representing Australia at last month's Pan Pacific championships in Irvine, California, taking a decision which ruled her out of October's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. She said at the time her decision to skip the Delhi games was hard but necessary for her longer-term fitness. "It's a huge disappointment for me," she said. "I would've loved to have been there, especially because it only comes around every four years. But I have to think of the big picture, which is London 2012." * AP