Golden girl Jones is backing swim stars
FOUR-time Olympian Leisel Jones says Australia's swimmers will not be performing under the ghosts of London in the pool at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Australia's 59-strong squad will be under intense scrutiny - especially freestyle speedster James Magnussen - after he and five male teammates, Eamon Sullivan, Matt Targett, James Roberts, Tommasso D'Orsonga and the rapidly rising Cameron McEvoy were infamously dubbed the "Stilnox Six" for taking the sleeping drug during the London Olympics in 2012.
But Jones, who will swap her racing suit for a microphone and make her commentating debut for the Ten Network in Glasgow, said London was in the past and the swimmers heading to Scotland would not sink under the weight of expectation to restore the sport's tarnished image.
The Beijing gold medallist, and only swimmer, male or female, to contest four Olympics, wasn't willing to launch her new career with a splash by predicting how many gold medals Australia might scoop in the Glasgow pool or if any records might fall.
"Glasgow will be no different to any other meet. The swimmers are always under the spotlight no matter what and their performances, in and out of the pool, are always scrutinised," Jones told APN before leaving for Glasgow today.
"All the swimmers will want to be performing well two years out from the Rio Olympics. They'll all be trying to swim personal bests and they all will want to come home with a gold medal, obviously."
Jones said it was now time to move on from the London fallout and look to the future.
"There's been a massive reshuffle and it's all looking a lot more positive," she said.
"It's all been dealt with, it's two years on and for these swimmers it's not an issue, they are focused and ready to go into Rio in two years' time."
Jones, who has eight Olympic medals, three of them gold, said the relaxed atmosphere of a Commonwealth Games often led to some shock results, although she was expecting big things from exciting Gold Coast super fish McEvoy, who will go head-to-head with Magnussen in the freestyle sprints.
"McEvoy surprised everyone at the trials beating Magnussen," Jones said.
"He's still pretty young, so it's a case of how fast can he go, and Mack Horton in the 1500 metre freestyle is another fantastic talent and exciting prospect and we haven't really had a big personality in that event since Grant Hackett."