I did all I could: Hocking

WANGARATTA’S Olympic Games swimmer Belinda Hocking made a much-needed return to the Border yesterday and revealed her devastating disappointment at the illness that ruined her London campaign. The 22-year-old, pictured chatting with junior Albury Amatuer Swim Club members at the Albury Swim Centre, admitted she found it hard returning to Australia after her Games disappointment. Full report, page 60.

Belinda’s bitter blow

SWIMMING star Belinda Hocking has revealed that illness ruined her Olympic campaign.

Speaking for the first time about the health issues that restricted her performances in London, the Wangaratta golden girl told The Border Mail yesterday she had tonsillitis during the Games.

Hocking, a silver medallist in the 200-metre backstroke at the world championships in Shanghai last year, was expected to finish on the podium in her pet event but failed to qualify for the 200-metre backstroke final, swimming more than three seconds outside her time from the worlds.

The 22-year-old had earlier finished seventh in the 100-metre backstroke final.

“Obviously I was pretty devastated with my 200 metres at the Olympics,” Hocking said.

“I had tonsillitis at the Games but I didn’t tell anyone.

“I didn’t want to make any excuses.

“I have to move on.

“Looking back now I’m really proud of how I did.

“Sometimes things don’t go the way you planned.

“All I wanted was eight days to be healthy and it didn’t go that way.”

Hocking recently had her wisdom teeth and tonsils removed and is hoping to return to the pool before the end of the month.

She admitted that she found it hard returning to Australia after her Games disappointment.

“I found it quite hard coming back, not living up to expectations,” Hocking said.

“At the end of the day I did everything I could.

“It’s not like I could have tried harder.

“I’m only 22 and I’ll definitely be swimming for the next four years.

“It’s good to have something to look forward to.”

Hocking was back at Albury Swim Centre yesterday, relaxing before the BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series in Perth in January.

Hocking, who has been based at the Australian Institute of Sport for six years, said she always enjoyed returning to the Border.

“I love to be able to come down and say thanks to everyone in the area,” she said.

“It does mean a lot to me knowing I have the support there.

“I don’t realise how much I miss it until I come back here.

“The Albury pool was the best pool I’ve ever trained in.”

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