Germany's sprint queen Britta Steffen is aiming to back up her double victory in Beijing with a couple of world crowns at the Foro Italico in Rome next summer. The Olympic 50m and 100m freestyle champion told German radio today that she wants to complete her set of trophies before retiring.
The 24-year-old has set her sights on the meet in Rome from July 18 to August 2 next summer as a potential swansong. "The plan is I will continue to swim, but I want to return to my studies over the next six months," Steffen, an engineering student, told German station RTL. "Once I finish my exams in February, then I would like to go to Australia for six to eight weeks to prepare for the world championships."
Steffen said that she remains hungry for success. "There is, of course, plenty of motivation - amongst other things I would still like to become world champion. If that happens, I will have won all the titles at the same time and that would, of course, be fantastic."
Steffen became European champion in the 50m and 100m in 2006, when she set the world record in the 100m freestyle and with teammates added her name to the book of global standards in the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relays. In 2007, she won bronze in the 100m freestyle and in Beijing claimed gold in the 50m by 0.01sec ahead of Dara Torres (USA) and another fingernail ahead of Lisbeth Trickett (AUS), the world record holder, in the 100m.