Emily Seebohm has tried night training and using blacked out goggles to cope with the outdoor pool.Even world champion Emily Seebohm can’t work out how to swim backstroke properly at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games’ outdoor pool.
Alarm bells were ringing for Seebohm after she was among several backstrokers caught on the lane ropes at the main Games test event, last month’s national selection trials.
Backstrokers usually train indoors with the roof providing them a reference point to help them swim straight – not so at the outdoor Gold Coast Aquatic Centre.
Seebohm has done her research since her trials scare, adopting everything from training at night to using blacked out goggles.
But the 11-year national team veteran admitted she was stumped by the puzzle posed by the Gold Coast pool.
“There’s not a lot we can do. We train indoors so it is really hard,” said reigning 200m backstroke world champ Seebohm.
“But everyone is going through the same challenges – no one has an advantage in the race.”
Seebohm, 25, got caught up in the lane ropes before suffering a shock loss in the 200m backstroke final by 0.01 of a second to world junior champion Kaylee McKeown at the national trials.
While not blaming the outdoor venue for her surprise defeat, Seebohm did receive the wake-up call she needed ahead of her third Games.
In a bid to ensure success, Seebohm has trialled a number of training aides for the outdoor venue but did not sound like she had struck upon a winning formula to date.
Her advice to other backstrokers ahead of the Games was simple – do your best.
Asked what it was like using blacked out goggles to cope, Seebohm laughed: “It was interesting.
“I saw one side better than the other. I don’t know whether that is just me.
“So yeah, I won’t be going into the meet with taped goggles.
“If I hit the lane rope I am probably going to stay with it because there is no point bouncing from one rope to the other – you just end up racing more.
“We will just have to do our best.”
Besides her 200m pet event, Seebohm is also aiming for her third straight 100m backstroke Games gold on the Gold Coast.