Thursday, Jul. 24, 2008

62. Libby Trickett


She is the Justine Henin of the pool. In March, at the Australian trials, she became the fastest woman on water by setting a new world record — 23.97 sec. — for the 50m. She is also the world record holder in the 100m freestyle (52.88. Like the former tennis No. 1, the relatively petite Trickett has soared in a sport filled with bigger, taller women. On the dais at the World Championships in Melbourne last year, she looked, at first glance, to be the same height as place-getters Marleen Veldhuis and Britta Steffen — except Trickett was on the top step. While her shoulders and back are muscular, her feet and hands are child-like. Her ready smile and jaunty manner mask a fierce will to win. "I'm addicted to competing," says Trickett, who'll be the woman to beat in Beijing over one lap in freestyle and over 100m in freestyle and butterfly. "I swim for the race. I swim because I love to race fast."