Ryan Pini ponders Rio Olympics swansong
Pacific swimming legend Ryan Pini is considering competing at one final Olympic Games in Brazil.
Papua New Guinea swimmer Ryan Pini is considering one last Olympic hurrah in Rio.
The former Commonwealth champion retired after competing in the London Games in 2012.
He returned to the pool for the Pacific Games in Port Moresby, where he won seven gold medals and was named outstanding male athlete.
The 33 year old also competed at this month's World Championships in Russia and told Vinnie Wylies a fourth Olympic Games is now very much on the cards.
RYAN PINI: Definitely on my mind. I think what I've done preparation wise with having my appendix removed and the birth of my son - so that was two big things that happened within eight weeks of the lead-up to Pacific Games - if I can better that for next year, which I believe I can, and my whole idea is I really enjoy swimming so I'm going to still be in the water. I'm going to compete up until the Olympics and if I'm improving from what I have now then I think that's a pretty good incentive for me to go to Rio. If I'm not then I'd like to be able to give that to someone else and given them an opportunity to represent Papua New Guinea.
VINNIE WYLIE: So you have qualified for some events already?
RP: Yeah I've qualified for three events - the three 100m: butterfly, backstroke and freestyle. Those times are B qualifying and I'm quite close to the A qualifying in the 100m butterfly so I would like to be able to qualify in the A qualifying. It's not necessary but it's just something that I would like to motivate myself for and it's a good target, and generally the A target times are somewhere close to semi final times so for me to be able to do that is a pretty good indication of how I'm travelling.
VW: Has your time away from being an athlete, has that given you a new appreciation of [or] maybe more enjoyment of actually being a swimmer yourself?
RP: It definitey has. Towards the end of my career leading into [the 2012 Olympics in] London the body goes through a lot of changes and without having any time out you don't really appreciate how much the body needs its recovery and I spent 12 months out of the water completely - the shoulders didn't come good right away but over the two years they slowly got better. Definitely I found it really hard to motivate myself at the end of my career [the first time] and having that time out I really appreciated what I had done and it was a good motivation for me to get back in the water and really focus on different areas. The build-up for the Pacific Games haven't really been about fitness, it's been about technique and making sure I'm doing the right thing in recovery. It's definitely shown and I'm doing personal best time in 50s and I'm really close to my 100m time so I can definitely see a different approach to swimming from a different point of view.
VW: One more year doesn't sound too far into the distance then?
RP: It's very different now - I remember 2004 at the Olympics there thinking yep I'm going to go for the next Olympics four years away. Now I'm looking towards the end of the year to see whether I can keep training and what sort of times I'm able to do then and I'll give it another few months and we will see how it goes a couple of months at a time.
To embed this content on your own webpage, cut and paste the following: