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Page last updated at 11:14 GMT, Tuesday, 5 April 2011 12:14 UK

Australian swimmer Emily Seebohm collapses at trials

Emily Seebohm
Emily Seebohm was going for a fifth successive Australian title

Eighteen-year-old Emily Seebohm has collapsed at the Australian Swimming Championships in Sydney.

Moments after winning silver in the 100m backstroke, Seebohm fell to the floor and had to be treated with oxygen.

Sunday's episode came weeks after she was hospitalised with swine flu.

"The last thing I remember is walking down and turning the corner and then I woke up on oxygen and in a wheelchair," said the Commonwealth champion.

After consultation with medical staff, Seebohm was able to attend the medal ceremony and collect her silver medal.

"I think the first thing I said was 'can I get up and go and get my medal now?'. I really wanted to get up there and tell Belinda [Hocking] she did a great job," said Seebohm.

A win would have seen her seal a fifth straight Australian title in the 100m backstroke but Belinda Hocking upset the title-holder with a personal best time of 59.55 seconds.

Her coach, Matt Brown, said Seebohm had "knocked herself into the ground" and would be withdrawn from the rest of the Championships, which serve as the trial for the World Championships in Shanghai in July.

Region: Australia
Born: 1992
Discipline: Swimming
Career highlights: Breaking 4x100m medley relay world record in 2007
Recent performance: Three golds, two silvers and three bronzes at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi

Seebohm, who won eight medals at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, had intended to qualify for six World Championship events but she only has one guaranteed place in Shanghai.

The incident crowns a difficult few months, which included a spell in hospital after the teenager contracted swine flu.

Speaking about her hospital stay, Seebohm told the BBC: "All I wanted was to get better and feel better, it was not fun being in isolation by myself, no-one to talk to, it was all a bit crazy."

She was out of the pool for 10 days and struggled when she returned to training. "I wasn't able to get my heart rate up for a while, so just easy swim throughs ... no heavy weights, just stretching, core, swimming, massage and plenty of rest," she said.

But her trademark optimism has not diminished: "I will be concentrating on doing all the little things right to get back on track. I don't know how I will go but I have my fingers crossed."

The trials continue until this Friday and whilst Seebohm has only qualified for the 100m backstroke event, head coach Leigh Nugent has apparently confirmed that Seebohm might be considered for inclusion in the freestyle relay team for Shanghai.

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see also
Latest news Emily Seebohm
03 Feb 12 |  World Olympic Dreams
Seebohm goes all-out for swimming victory
26 Jul 10 |  World Olympic Dreams
Seebohm: 'Winter's the hardest'
26 Jul 10 |  World Olympic Dreams

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