Sport

Fat chance Leisel will be fazed

Leisel Jones's fitness has been questioned after queries emerged over her weight.
Leisel Jones's fitness has been questioned after queries emerged over her weight. Al Bello / Getty Images

A LEADING Coast sport and exercise psychologist predicts Leisel Jones is well-equipped to deal with the media storm that has erupted over her weight.

Jones's readiness for her fourth Olympics was questioned by some sections of the media yesterday after unflattering photographs emerged of her on the pool deck in London.

Dr Lisa Fraser from the University of the Sunshine Coast joined the chorus of support for Jones, but said an athlete with her experience would be prepared for media scrutiny.

"Any athlete of Leisel's level, first of all just to get to where she is at a fourth Olympics, would know what sort of shape she is in. But also her mental preparation would have prepared her for media attention," Dr Fraser said.

"Maybe not the attention over her weight specifically, but she would be mentally prepared.

"When you are in the spotlight for as long as she has been, she has had some pretty hardcore media attention early on in her career and she would have done a lot of work on how to overcome it."

Fraser predicted the 26-year-old would now be concentrating on her performance in the training pool in a bid to block out the media storm she was unwillingly engulfed in.

"What we do with our athletes coming up to a major event such as the Olympics, is give them quite a lot of scenarios, which helps them think about what could go wrong or what might cause them to become emotional," she said.

"And no doubt media attention is on that list.

"In order to race at her best, she has got to let this go and let it go though to the keeper."

Dual-world ironwoman champion Kristy Ellis said she felt the criticism towards Jones was unwarranted, particularly as she was yet to compete.

"In swimming sometimes it is an advantage to be more buoyant and I certainly swam against girls who didn't have zero body fat," she said.

"Some of the leaner girls used to struggle because they didn't have that buoyancy."

Topics:  body image, leisel jones, london olympics, weight



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