Gemma Spofforth admits she almost quit swimming

FINA WORLD AQUATIC CHAMPIONSHIPS 2011

  • Venue: Shanghai, China
  • Dates: 16-31 July

Coverage: Selected live coverage and daily highlights [of swimming phase] on BBC Two, Red Button, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra & online (UK only); reports on BBC Radio 5 live and website; watch again on iPlayer

Spofforth and Simmonds do Jenga

Britain's Gemma Spofforth has admitted she almost quit swimming after losing her 100m backstroke title at the World Championships in Shanghai this week.

The 23-year-old spent last night pondering her retirement but on Wednesday morning made the decision to continue and focus on 2012.

Spofforth said: "It was a huge decision to make overnight. A lot of thought went into it. I didn't get much sleep.

"But I decided this morning that it's 100% commitment from hereon in."

Spofforth, who arrived in Shanghai on a bad run of form and suffering from food poisoning, failed to defend her 100m backstroke title after finishing 23rd fastest on Monday, prompting the 23-year-old to consider her future.

But following a night of soul-searching, Spofforth, who set a new world record on her way to gold at the 2009 World Championships in Rome, decided to continue in her pursuit of Olympic glory in 2012.

"Last night there was a really big decision for me - whether I should do one more year or whether I should give up because this year hasn't been fun and 2009 was maybe my time," she added.

You can only do this sport if you are 100% invested and this year hasn't been 100% for me

Gemma Spofforth 2009 world 100m backstroke champion

"I came down this morning, had a relatively good race, got through and realised that this is where I want to be.

"Next year is the one and I am only going to do it if I really want to do it and if I have one inkling over the next couple of weeks that it's not the right thing for me then I will quit but now it's 100% commitment."

Spofforth admitted that she first questioned her future during the Commonwealth Games in Delhi where she won three silver medals.

"I've been thinking like this for probably quite a few months leading up into this competition and it has been on the edge [of my mind]," she said.

"You can only do this sport if you are 100% invested and this year hasn't been 100% for me.

"It's been a disappointing year all round, the trials were even bad so I'm going to go back and get in shape again."

Replay - Spofforth snatches World 100m gold in 2009