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Rice pushes through pain barrier
Liam Fitzgibbon
22:09 AEST Tue Jul 24 2012

Stephanie Rice continues to push through the pain barrier as she puts the final touches on preparations for her Olympic title defence in London.

Rice joined a host of her Australian teammates in training at the Games venue on Tuesday and coach Michael Bohl revealed she'd had another minor flare-up of her troublesome shoulder problem.

Not that it's anything new for the triple Olympic gold medallist and her coach, who have had to manage the problem for more than two years.

"Her shoulder was a little bit sore this morning, we did a little bit of solid stuff last night and she's pulled up a bit sore but it's nothing to be too concerned about it," Bohl said on Tuesday, adding Rice had completely overcome a minor neck problem suffered earlier in the week.

"Whenever she does anything fast, she feels a little bit tender.

"... It's just normal for her at this stage. She seems happy and is doing relatively well."

Rice had surgery in December to repair a torn tendon in her right shoulder, but still impressed at trials in March to be ranked first in the world in the 200IM and fourth in the 400IM this year.

But she knows she will be up against it as she attempts to defend both titles in London, starting with the 400IM on Saturday, and Bohl said she would still be feeling pain in both events.

"She's got to swim and do the best she can under the circumstances," Bohl said.

"We know she hasn't had the world's greatest preparation coming in, but she can still swim well enough to do a good, solid job here.

"How good a job that's going to be, we'll wait until Saturday.

"... My expectation is she's going to swim faster than trials, but how much faster is the $64,000 question."

Bohl said excitement was building among the Dolphins squad, particularly after spending the past two days training alongside some of their biggest rivals, including the all-conquering US team.

"When you see guys like Michael Phelps or Ryan Lochte come in, I think the kids stand up another two inches taller," Bohl said.

"You really feel like you're at the Olympics."

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