Olympic 1500m freestyle champion Grant Hackett has revealed that he defended his title in Athens despite suffering from a collapsed lung.
Hackett holds Commonwealth and Olympic golds at 1500m freestyle
During the Games the Australian said he had a bronchial infection but now he has admitted: "It was fairly serious.
"My lungs were blocked and stuffed for so long that it was partially deflated.
"I had a CAT scan and found it was all clear." Coach Denis Cotterell said Hackett lost 25% lung capacity then but would be fit for the national trials.
Cotterell added that he did not tell Olympic medical staff for fear that Hackett may have been prevented from defending his title.
"It's just something he raced with all the time but it was the worst that it had been.
"He trained and raced through this for the last nine months, there was fluid on the lining and spots on the lungs, it was pretty ugly."
Hackett has been plagued by bronchial problems throughout his career, and was hospitalised earlier this year.
The national trials take place from 12-19 March and double as selection trials for the world championships.
Cotterell also hinted that Hackett might compete in the Queensland championships in February.