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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 December, 2004, 08:34 GMT
Foster still after Olympic glory
By Mark Orlovac

Britain's Mark Foster
Mark Foster missed out on a fifth Olympics this summer
British swimmer Mark Foster has not ruled out another tilt at Olympic glory in 2008, when he will be 38.

Foster failed to qualify for the Athens Games in August, missing out on selection by just 0.05 seconds.

But he went on to win 50m freestyle gold at both the world and European short course championships.

"The only medal missing is an Olympic one, but four years is a long time," he said. "The mind will want to do it, it's whether the body is able to."

Foster admits that missing out on Athens caused him a lot of mental anguish.

He felt his past record - he has won more than 40 medals for Britain - should have ensured his place on the team.

If you are a little bit different to the norm and don't like to train so much, you are not wanted
Mark Foster

He criticised the selection process at the time and remains at odds with national performance director Bill Sweetenham over the current training regime.

"Sprinters have a different mentality and if you are a little bit different to the norm and don't like to train so much, you are not wanted," said Foster.

"There is a lot of talent in this country and it's about keeping those people interested in the sport. If you push and push, you will lose so many people."

Foster also believes there should be more training for sprinters.

"Bill has done a lot of good but areas are being neglected," he said.

"We don't focus on sprinting in this country and there should be room for people that want to do it and are good at it."

Foster conceded the clock was ticking on his own career but did not know when he would eventually quit.

"I'll definitely be going to the Commonwealth Games in 2006 but the ultimate thing will be to go to Beijing and win a medal," he said.

"There's nothing greater than standing on the block and beating people."

Foster also paid tribute to James Hickman, the World Short Course butterfly champion, who retired from swimming on Wednesday.

"James has made a big contribution to British swimming," said Foster.

"He has won five World Short Course golds and he won them on the bounce - within the sport that is huge. It's a massive achievement.

"The 200m butterfly is a gruelling event. It is a minute and 50 seconds of swimming, I do the sprint which is 23 seconds and that's enough for me. I take my hat off to him."





SEE ALSO
Second gold seals Foster success
12 Dec 04 |  Swimming
Foster secures Short Course gold
09 Dec 04 |  Swimming
Foster makes point to Sweetenham
12 Oct 04 |  Other Sport
Foster adds silver to gold
11 Oct 04 |  Other Sport
Foster appeal fails
30 May 04 |  Other Sport
Foster out of Athens
11 Apr 04 |  Other Sport


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