SYDNEY, May 8 (Reuters) – Former world champion Samantha Riley left hospital and returned to the pool on Monday, saying the pressure was on her Australian rivals to beat her for a place in the national swimming team for the Sydney Olympics.
Riley, 27, spent five days in hospital because of a kidney infection.
She said she felt 80 percent fit and wasted no time getting back in the water in Cairns, north Queensland, resuming light training in preparation for the Australian Olympic Trials which start in Sydney on Saturday.
Riley, who won the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke at the 1994 world championships in Rome and took the 100 breaststroke bronze at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, said she had the benefit of experience and her main rivals Rebecca Brown and newcomer Leisel Jones, 14, would be feeling the pressure.
"The pressure is on the other breaststrokers because I have been there and done it," Riley said.
"It is something I have been working for and I will be standing on the blocks next week because this is the Olympics in my home country and I really want to be there.
"I have been improving every day and haven't lost any weight, so every day I get stronger."
Her coach Scott Volkers said Riley was the only Australian swimmer who could overcome illness so close to the trials and make the team.
"I have seen Sam do some amazing things in the 12 years we have been together," Volkers said in Cairns.
But Volkers said he ranked Jones number one.
"She's done times of late that Sam hasn't matched,"
he told Australian radio.