OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: Spofforth eyes new challenge - climbing Mount Everest
GEMMA Spofforth admits she might be ready to call time on her swimming career - but she's still setting her sights high.
MIXED FEELINGS: Gemma Spofforth finished fifth in the final of the 100m backstroke at the London 2012 Olympics
The former world champion finished fifth in the final of her signature 100m backstroke event as American Missy Franklin powered to her first Olympic gold.
World record holder Spofforth is a swimmer whose success has come against a series of personal tragedies, which she candidly admits have sapped her motivation for the sport.
But she's already talking about her new passion.
"I have started climbing and I am looking towards climbing Everest. On the side I will still keep swimming and still keep fit,” said Spofforth, who finished fourth in the same final four years ago.
“I think I can combine both, I think it crosses over and if you are fit out of the water you are going to be fit in the water and I don’t think I am going to lose that.
“It is genuine, I started climbing this year and loved it and there are few people out there that want to do it with me.
“It costs $60,000 so there is a lot that I need to save. It will probably take about five years to be prepared and I have got to do a few climbs beforehand and a course to get ready.”
Meanwhile, Liam Tancock and Robbie Renwick both insisted they were looking to Rio as they finished fifth and sixth in the 100m backstroke and 200m freestyle final respectively.
Tancock had qualified as third fastest but was found wanting when American Matt Grevers turned on the burners during the final length.
He'll be 31 when the next Games is held in Rio and has no intention of calling it a day.
"I wake up every morning with the same dream, doing things that no-one else has done in the world," he said.
"That’s what gets me up in the morning, that’s what makes me train hard. I want to look to the future, look to the next thing, look to Rio."
Renwick also believes he's getting stronger but gold medallist, France's Yannick Agnel, is setting a pace in his event that the Scot will have to work hard to match.
"It’s not all bad for me," he said.
"I’m a lot wiser than I think I was four years ago, I’ve got a lot more experience in me. Hopefully in another two or four years I can be up there on the podium at this level.
"I’m making the right progress and that is what it is all about."
Meanwhile, Hannah Miley also admits she will need to lift her game as Chinese wonder kid Ye Shiwen continues to rewrite the record books.
Ye sent shock waves through her sport when she won 400m medley Olympic gold, swimming the final 50m freestyle faster than American swimmer Ryan Lochte managed in his final leg when he won the same race in the men’s event.
Miley progressed to the final of the 200m medley as the seventh quickest qualifier in 2:10.80 while Ye was fastest, smashing the Olympic record and still seeming to swim within herself.
And Miley, a famed hard trainer, who under the charge of her coach and father Patrick swims up to 80,000 miles a week, admits Ye's performance have changed the face of her medley discipline.
"She's amazing and producing some outstanding swims," she said.
"She's so young and she's got a lot more to come and there is so much we can learn from her and she's only going to inspire the next generation of swimmers."
© Sportsbeat 2012