It’s tough being a fish out of water, but Gold Coast distance swimmer Madeleine Gough is adapting to life out of the pool by exercising her mind and body.
Gough was training in Spain for the now-postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics when the COVID-19 outbreak forced her return to Australia.
She's dealing with the disappointment by throwing herself into her studies at Bond University and staying fit with land-based workouts.
The TSS Aquatic swimmer was training at a Sierra Nevada high altitude camp in Granada and seeing good results when the plug was pulled on her 2020 campaign.
“It’s been tough," Gough told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
"We had just finished the hard distance training and were starting more race-specific stuff, but we have a date (for Tokyo 2021) and something to aim towards.
"We just have to start the whole process over. The general message is to recover, regroup and stay active.”
Gough was training in Spain with renowned swimming coach Fred Vergnoux and alongside 2016 Olympic champion Mireia Belmonte, who is considered the greatest Spanish swimmer of all-time.
“That group does a lot of distance and kilometers which suits how I like to train,” she said.
“We live together and travel together, so we were really close."
The 20-year-old – who claimed the Australian 5km Open Water Championship title at Brighton Beach in January – will now focus her attention on her Bachelor of Biomedical Science degree, before recalibrating her training for the Olympics in 2021.
“I’ve enrolled to do three subjects next trimester at Bond, which is more than I’d normally do,” she said.
“I might as well try to knock through a lot of the subject while I have some free time.
“Obviously my main goal is to make the Olympics team for 2021 and I’ll be setting myself for that.”