Jessica Hobbin (right) with Japanese medallists Miki Uchida (silver) and Rikako Ikee (gold) in Tokyo.
Jessica Hobbin (right) with Japanese medallists Miki Uchida (silver) and Rikako Ikee (gold) in Tokyo. KIYOSHI OTA

Hobbin has eyes for Rio Olympics after bronze win

BUNDABERG-BORN swimmer Jessica Hobbin says her focus is on making the 2016 Olympic team for Rio, after winning a bronze medal at the FINA swimming World Cup meet in Tokyo.

Last month the 18-year-old, who was born and raised in the region, won bronze in the 50m butterfly.

Her time of 26.83 seconds was her fastest time in the event, and was also two tenths quicker than her times at this year's nationals.

In the nationals in Sydney, she finished 5th in the 50m butterfly and 7th in the 100m butterfly, to fall just short of qualifying for the World Championships in Russia.

Hobbin, who is now based on the Gold Coast, was surprised about her success overseas.

"I didn't have many expectations after a big block of training before the event," she said.

"To set my best time for the 50m butterfly, and medal, was a nice surprise for me."

Her focus will now turn to the short course championships in Sydney later this month, before Adelaide for the Olympic trials in April.

Needing to finish top two in either event to qualify for Rio, Hobbin said it will be a tough challenge.

"Everyone's goal is so someday qualify for the Olympics when they swim competitively," she said.

"I'll just keep chipping at my times and keep improving. That is all I can do."

With the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018, the teenager has her hopes set on making one or both of those teams.

"The main focus is on now and making sure I get the next training block spot on," she said.

"I'm swimming confidently at the moment, and everyone is really supportive, so I will try my best and see how it goes."

Hobbin said she looked up to former butterfly stars in Petria Thomas, Susie O'Neill, and Jess Schipper.

"I definitely aspire to be as successful as them," she said.

"My aim though is to make a name for myself and record some of their feats."

The former Bundaberg junior also has fond memories of her time here.

"The place holds a special place for me, with my success as a kid," she said.

"Hopefully I can inspire kids with my current and

future success."



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