Melanie Schlanger has been recovering from a rib injury.
Melanie Schlanger has been recovering from a rib injury. Al Bello / Getty Images

Schlanger expecting to push case in pool at Barcelona

OLYMPIC gold medallist Melanie Schlanger has returned to the pool as she attempts to shake off injury and prepare for the upcoming world championships.

The Sunshine Coast export resumed pool sessions last Wednesday under Glenn Baker at the Southport Olympic Swimming Club after a fractured rib hindered her performances at last month's national titles.

The Adelaide event doubled as the trials for the world championships at Barcelona in July and August.

Schlanger failed to defend her 100m freestyle title at the nationals, finishing sixth, and came fifth in the 200m freestyle.

She qualified for the 4x200m freestyle relay team for Barcelona, but her chief goal is to earn a spot in the 4x100m freestyle relay team.

The 26-year-old won gold and silver in the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle, respectively, at the London Olympics and finished fourth in the 100m freestyle.

She hopes to be back in full training in a fortnight, giving her about two months to get in top shape for the worlds.

Schlanger is confident she has enough time to sufficiently prepare.

Once in Barcelona, she hopes to impress enough to earn a spot on the 4x100m freestyle team.

She was a member of the 4x100m freestyle team that won gold at the 2007 world championships.

"Because of my preparation I've shifted my focus to more the 100m this year," she said.

"If I'm in the mix for the 200m, great, but my focus is definitely the 100m relay, and we'll see what happens.

"I think at this stage they're more likely to use me in 100m heats.

"It's the same rules as always - usually the fastest swimmers in the heat go through to the final.

"I've just got to make sure I'm one of those."