Only a catastrophe can stop us: Schlanger
SUNSHINE Coast product Melanie Schlanger is poised to cap a remarkable revival and says only a "catastrophe" can stop Australia's 4x100m freestyle relay squad from winning gold in Glasgow.
The 32-year-old was plagued by rib and shoulder injuries after winning gold in the event at the London Olympics two years ago.
However, a recent career-saving adjustment to her stroke has helped her rapidly rediscover her best form.
"It has only been in the last preparation that I've managed to find a way to get my body in the right alignment in the pool to not have it affect my swimming," she said.
"In the 12 weeks since the trials, I haven't missed a lap and every training session has progressed in the right direction.
"I'm getting faster and it's nice to get some consistency for the first time since London."
The rib injury is still present, but controllable.
"There's a bit of a niggle but I think it's just going to be something that I will have to manage throughout my career," Schlanger said.
"It isn't impairing my ability to swim at all (after her recent body re-alignment)."
After only a month of proper training, Schlanger recorded a time of 53.70sec in the 100m freestyle final at the national trials in Brisbane in April.
She has since improved at a rapid rate.
"I have been swimming essentially at the same sort of speed as I was leading into London, so that is really encouraging," she said.
"If I have got the taper right then there's no reason why I can't be fast in Glasgow - equal to if not better than the best than I've been able to produce so far in my career."
Her personal best for the 100m is 53.38sec.
Schlanger (pictured) said only a disaster would stop her team from winning.
It will contest heats tomorrow night and, barring mishap, the final early on Friday morning.
"To be honest, with the depth that we've got in that event something would have to go catastrophically wrong for us to not take away the gold medal," she said.
"Cate (Campbell) has dropped her time quite significantly since the Olympics and we've got a few fresh faces since then that have really stepped it up, so on paper our team is looking formidable by world standards."
Schlanger said the 4x100 team, which would likely include fellow Sunshine Coast product Brittany Elmslie, was capable of breaking the world record of 3:31.72
"On paper we're about half a second faster than the world record so it will be a matter of putting it together on the day," she said.
"For four girls to fire (and achieve individual personal bests) is a very difficult thing to accomplish ... if we can pull that off it could result in a record."
Schlanger will also contest the 50m freestyle and is a chance of competing in Australia's 4x200m freestyle relay team.