March 16, 2009

SYDNEY (AP) -- Stephanie Rice, who won three gold medals at the Beijing Olympics in world-record time, has set herself a busy schedule at the Australian swim titles -- potentially seven events over six days.

Rice won the 200- and 400-meter individual medleys at Beijing and also teamed with Kylie Palmer, Bronte Barratt and Linda MacKenzie to break a world mark in the 4x200 freestyle relay.

The Australian titles beginning Tuesday at the Sydney 2000 Olympic pool will double as the country's selection trials for the world championships at Rome in July.

Rice had a seven-week break after the Beijing Games and this is her first major meet since last August.

She is entered in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events, the 100 and 200 butterfly and her specialties of the 200 and 400 IMs.

"That's what she's entered in at this point," media director Ian Hanson said Monday. "It doesn't mean she'll swim in them all depending on how the events goes for her."

Rice said she doubts the lengthy layoff will affect her.

"I love racing and that is what I train for, I don't train to train," Rice said Monday. "So when everyone is here in the crowd and the moment is on for me to race I am sure I will find that adrenalin and excitement that will hopefully get me on the team."

Rice will race in the 200 freestyle on Tuesday -- the same night as the 200 individual medley. The 200 butterfly is also on the same night as the 400 IM.

She said she also wanted to swim in the 200 freestyle in Rome and her camp will decide later in the week whether she will compete in the 200 butterfly final on the final night of the trials Saturday.

"Even though I know it is going to be tough to have to do two of my main races on one day, that is only going to benefit me in the long run," Rice said.

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