x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

German swimmer to throw her weight in Dubai in World Cup revival bid

Steffen blamed an embarrassing performance in Shanghai on a weight-training programme that she says turned her into "a little body-builder."

Britta Steffen, the Olympic 50m and 100m freestyle champion, will hope to see improvement in her performance, at the opening event of the World Cup season in Dubai next month, after announcing she is abandoning her weight-training programme.

The 27-year-old Berliner flopped at the World Swimming Championships in Shanghai, China, in July when she failed to defend either the 50m or 100m world titles she won in Rome two years ago. The German then fled Shanghai after her embarrassing performance, which she blames on a weight-training programme that she says turned her into "a little body-builder."

"I was so muscular that after 50 metres, I didn't have any strength left," Steffen said having won two golds at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.

"That is when stamina comes into play and I should have done a lot more training in that area."

Having been heavily criticised in the German media for both her performance in Shanghai and her hasty exit, Steffen says she needs to rebuild some confidence.

She will race the short-course World Cup season, which starts October 7-9 in Dubai, and includes her home city of Berlin on the seven-meet itinerary.

"I think I need to find the old Britta Steffen again, the one who can win medals at the Olympics," she said.

Steffen says she has learnt from the Shanghai disappointment.

"If you're going through something like that, then you have to pull yourself out of the mud," she said.