Olympian Grant Hackett is back in solid training on the Gold Coast with the aim of competing in next year’s national swimming championships.
But the 34-year-old former world and Olympic champion is doing it more for his own well-being rather than an attempt to again compete for Australia six years after retirement.
“I probably haven’t felt this good since 2003 and 2004,” Hackett told News Corp, eight months after leaving a US rehabilitation facility where he was treated for stilnox addiction.
Hackett reapplied to the ASADA drug testing program in September and he will be eligible to compete at the nationals in April.
“This year I’ve just really got my passion back for it. I do set myself little goals and little times and I’m trying to improve,” he said.
“Where it’s going to lead I really don’t know. My only ambition at this stage is to do a club relay with the boys,” Hackett said, mindful of the failed comeback of former rival Ian Thorpe.
One of Hackett’s old world records, the short course 400-metres freestyle set in April 1999, stood until this weekend when bettered by Peter Berner of Hungary.