Olympic champion, Mack Horton has revealed his preparation for the Commonwealth Games has been disrupted by a debilitating injury during training.
Horton cut a relaxed figure when he arrived at the Australian swim team’s pre-Games camp after staying away from the Gold Coast hype at his Melbourne base.
But clearly not everything had gone to plan.
The Rio 400m gold medallist raised eyebrows by sporting a protective sleeve on his right arm after being stung by a bee at training last week.
‘I got stung by a bee the other day in training and my whole arm has blown up,’ he laughed.
‘My tricep doesn’t exist anymore, my elbow doesn’t exist anymore.
‘I put my arm up on the edge (of the pool) … and it’s gone bang!’
The short sighted 21-year-old wears thick prescription goggles to compete because he ‘can’t see his hand in front of face’ but is now on the lookout for the insects as he fine tunes his Games preparation.
‘I assume (I’m allergic to bees) now. I haven’t been tested but this pretty much says ‘yes’,’ Horton said.
‘And because I don’t have my glasses on (while training) I’m really cautious now and looking out everywhere just in case.’
Flying insects haven’t been the only distraction for Horton ahead of the Games.
Horton is buzzing after staying away from all the Gold Coast build-up in Melbourne since this month’s selection trials.
‘I am probably a bit more relaxed (ahead of Games than usual),’ he said.
‘I am lucky that I live in Melbourne so I miss all the hype up here in Queensland so I can just go about my thing.’
Not that Horton expects to buckle when the expectation surrounding a home Games finally kicks in.
‘I think where people get unstuck is when they try to fight it. You just have to enjoy it and embrace it.’
He will adopt the same relaxed approach in the 200m freestyle after confirming he will contest the event.
Horton was unsure whether he would add the 200m to his program after entering it at the trials ‘for fun’.
He won a shock 200m national title last year ‘by accident’ then backed up to qualify for the event on the Gold Coast after finishing second behind fellow Rio champ Kyle Chalmers at this month’s trials.
However he has decided to add it to the 400m and 1500m freestyle plus 4x200m relay at the Games.
‘I guess in the 200m no one is expecting anything – I am just having fun,’ he said.
‘It’s a home Comm Games. It is pretty much as fun as it gets.’