Four years ago at the age of 23 Alicia Coutts was just coming into her own as a competitor on the international stage, making her first Commonwealth Games squad, heading to Delhi to represent Australia. Coutts success at the games not only let her competitors know that she was ready to race at that level, but that she was ready to win.
Coutts came away from Delhi as the most decorated swimmer of the games winning gold in the 100 freestyle (54.09), 100 butterfly (57.53), 200 IM (2:09.70), 4 x 100 freestyle relay and 4 x 100 medley relay. She also set a games record in the 200 IM and the 4 x 100 freestyle relay accomplished the same.
This summer she will once again represent Australia at the Commonwealth Games, this time in Glasgow, but it will be her last, “I’ll be 30 years of age in four years time so these will definitely be my last Commonwealth Games,” Coutts told the Herald Sun.
“The Commonwealth Games hold a special place in my heart, especially winning five gold medals in Delhi four years ago and being the Australian flag bearer.”
This time around Coutts will compete in the 50 and 100 butterfly as well as the 200 IM. She will most likely swim at least one of the relays, but that is to be decided in Glasgow.
“I’d like to go to Glasgow and defend some of my individual races and relay events but I’m not putting any expectations on myself.”
“The only expectation I ever put on myself going into competition meets is to do the best job I can.”
At the 2013 World Championships Coutts collected five silver medals in the 100 butterfly, 200 IM, 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 freestyle relays as well as the 4 x 100 medley relay. Despite that success the five time Olympic medalist admits she was challenged in her motivation, “After the world championships last year I re-evaluated a lot of things in my training and started to do some things differently,” Coutts said.
“It’s given me a bit more love for the sport again instead of just plodding along doing the same thing over and over again.”
Going into the games Coutts is ranked number one in the world in the 200 IM, third in the Commonwealth in the 100 butterfly and fourth in the Commonwealth in the 50 butterfly.