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Coutts willing to skip relay in London
Liam FitzGibbon
17:09 AEST Wed Jul 18 2012

Alicia Coutts is willing to risk a spot in Australia's 4x100m freestyle relay team in London by making herself unavailable for the heats to focus on an individual event.

Coutts is due to compete in the 100m butterfly heats on the opening morning of Olympic competition on July 28, the same morning as the women's sprint relay heats.

And while the 2010 Commonwealth Games 100m freestyle champion would be an asset to the gold medal-contending women's team if in top form, she doesn't want to jeopardise an individual event and would only swim in the evening final if picked on trust.

"I have spoken with my coach (John Fowlie) about it and I have the 100m fly that morning, so the only way I will do (the relay) is if I am straight into the final," Coutts said.

"I think Shannon (Rollason) is picking the team and he decides who he wants to swim the final, but I'm not going to swim the heats.

"... It's up to their discretion."

Coutts has also secured an individual berth in the 200m medley in London but only qualified as a relay swimmer in the freestyle after finishing fifth in the event at selection trials in March.

Australia's golden girl of the pool in recent years, Coutts was evidently not at her brilliant best at that meet and revealed on Wednesday she was slightly out of shape.

However, the 24-year-old has trimmed back down and is 1kg lighter than she was before winning two silver medals at last year's world championships in Shanghai.

"She was carrying a little bit of weight (at trials) and kind of let the diet go a little bit," coach Fowlie said.

"But sometimes, the best thing to happen for people is to get beaten and touched up a little bit.

"She walked out of trials with a bitter taste in her mouth and a lot of drive, and has just made a huge move in the last few months."

Coutts didn't mind the fact the hype around her had died down since winning five gold medals in Delhi.

"I'm feeling relaxed and happy with where I am now," she said.

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