Chasing an elusive gold

A refreshed Eamon Sullivan says he has nothing to lose and everything to gain as he shoots for an elusive gold medal at the 2016 Olympics.

Sullivan shocked the swimming world last month when he beat Cameron McEvoy and James Magnussen to claim the 50m freestyle at the Commonwealth Games selection trials in Brisbane.

The 28-year-old admitted the performance had been a pleasant surprise after he had only started full training in January.

"It got to early March and I thought I might have a crack at trials," he said.

"It was never a mad rush to be ready for trials, it just ended up being a good couple days."

Sullivan has since had a third operation in less than 18 months on his troublesome left shoulder and is hopeful of recovering in time to have an impact in Glasgow.

"It's been three weeks since the operation and I got back in the water last week and I'm just doing what I can," he said.

"I am just going to take my time.

"If Swimming Australia don't think I'm ready to race I'm happy to wear that.

"But I'm optimistic that I'll be there and do the right things and be swimming fast enough come Glasgow."

Sullivan said he had moved on from being caught up in the Stilnox drama which emerged after the 2012 London Olympics and was excited to be part of the Australian team again.

"It's a whole different team," he said.

"It reminded me of how it felt to be on the team for the first time back in 2004 when I was 18 and didn't know anyone and now I'm 28 and it's the same."

Sullivan has overhauled his training program specifically focusing on the 50m sprint and preservation after years of struggling with injury.

Working with WAIS coach Michael Palfrey, he is spending half the time in the pool he has in his previous 14 years in the sport and doing more land-based training.

Sullivan said his year out of the pool post-London, in which he threw himself into setting up North Fremantle restaurant Bib and Tucker, helped him realise he still loved swimming and had more to give.

"I sort of planned to drop off the radar," he said.

"I just wanted to make 100 per cent sure that I was doing it for the right reasons, not just because I had always done it and I didn't know what else I was going to do.

"It was always about getting to Rio for me, another Olympics, and I think with the 50m my aim is to get that elusive gold medal and retire on my terms.

"Not after an average 2012 campaign and carrying an injury in and a terrible four years before that riddled with injuries."

The West Australian

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