Great Britain's Jazz Carlin: Life 'dull' after Olympic high in Rio

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Great Britain's Jazz Carlin has emphasised how motivated she remains for challenges ahead, five months on from her Olympic success.

Carlin, who came close to quitting swimming after illness contributed to her missing out on the London 2012 Games, became a double Olympic medallist last summer with silver in the 400 and 800 metres freestyle events in Rio.

The 26-year-old admits that after that "dream come true", returning to the pool to resume the regular routine was tough.

But she says not retiring was an "obvious decision" this time around, with her feeling she has plenty more to give as a swimmer and her drive to keep improving still strong as she prepares for the next major competition, July's World Championships in Budapest.

Carlin, currently on a training camp in Mexico with coach David McNulty, told PA Sport: "After missing out on London, it took quite a bit to get me back in the pool, so to think that four years later I've managed to come away with two silver medals, it is a dream come true.

"I'll be honest -- I used to see people come back from Olympics, saying they were feeling quite down and struggling a bit in the pool, and I didn't really understand it.

"And it is only after getting back from Rio that I'm like 'wow' -- it was such an incredible experience and then you get back to real life and it feels just a bit dull sometimes.

"It is quite tough and I'm back into full training now. But I'm really looking forward to setting new goals for the next four-year cycle.

"Some people say they were ready to retire, they had had enough. But I think, even before Rio, I didn't feel I had given enough to the sport.

"I still love racing, it's just in me naturally. It was an obvious decision. I am still motivated and driven to keep challenging myself to improve."

Asked about the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Carlin said: "I take each year as it comes, one at a time -- with the end goal of the Olympic year.

"That is what everyone is training for and it is in the back of my mind.

"I'd love to experience what I did in Rio again, and obviously I'd still be fighting for that gold. That is still the motivation, what drives me every day."

It was American star Katie Ledecky who claimed the 400 and 800m freestyle golds in Rio, and Carlin said of the 19-year-old: "It is tough -- she is an incredible athlete and I don't know how much faster she can get.

"But I know there are little changes I can make. I just have to keep chasing and see how much I can compete with her."