Swimming: Auböck gets Olympic polish at home

He made the decision to return to Austria from England a few weeks ago in coordination with those closest to him and the sports director of the Austrian Swimming Association (OSV), Walter Bär. “I have a lot of confidence that I will get the support I need in Südstadt to be successful at the Olympics,” said Auböck. “Essentially my point was that if I wanted to swim in a final in Paris, I needed a change. So I had to do that.”

Auböck said he still had to plan the next twelve weeks with Fehervari. His main focus remains on the 400 m freestyle, although the Lower Austrian will also compete in the 200 and 800 m freestyle and 10 km open water at his third games. Auböck will be living at home in the “Hotel Mama” in Bad Vöslau for the next three months. “You have more support there, some things are no longer necessary.”

GEPA/Mario Buehner-Weinrauch Felix Auböck has a few weeks of hard work ahead of him

Auböck sees a problem on the 400 that although he can swim in the first 200 m, he has to invest too much. “I didn’t have the feeling during training (in England, note) that that would change. A lot of endurance was trained.” So he would probably have achieved a time of 3:45 or 3:46 at the games, but to reach the final you would need 3:43 or 3:44, as Auböck estimates. “There is a small risk with this step, but I just have to take it,” said the 2021 short course world champion.

Personal record as a clear goal

The decision to go home was made because he had confidence in Fehervari and the national swimming association. “I know exactly what to expect. We can start working.” It is then also important to get consistent races at a high level. That’s something he’s been missing lately. At the same time, training will probably be a little more intense, with more racing speeds. This will also be important in order not to lose too much energy in the first 200 m.

He doesn’t have to venture into new territory, said Auböck, as he has already completed a training build-up for 3:43 (OSV record from 2022: 3:43.58, note). “I know what it took to swim that. In the summer I want to swim the best time so that the Games are successful for me.” Reaching an Olympic final again would be a great success, Auböck only sees the chance of a medal with the change that has now been made. On the way there, he would like to take home a European Championship medal in Belgrade in June.

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