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Comeback King Huegill Wins Gold

published  First Published: 09/10/2010
Article written by: Nigel Brookson

Geoff Huegill has capped his dream comeback to swimming with a dominant victory in the 100m butterfly final at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

HUEGILL clocked 51.69secs - the equal second-fastest time this year behind only MICHAEL PHELPS - to finish ahead of Papua New Guinea's RYAN PINI (52.50) and England's ANTONY JAMES, who dead heated for second.

It was the sixth gold medal of HUEGILL's career, coming 12 years after his first and follows his silver medal two days ago in his favoured 50m butterfly.

The win capped a remarkable turnaround for the 31-year-old, who ballooned out to 138kg after quitting the sport in 2004.
It also ends an eight-year wait for Australia's male swimmers to win an individual gold, after failing to do so in Melbourne four years ago.
Australian swimmer Geoff Huegill completes a remarkable comeback at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Huegill, now 31, left swimming behind after the 2004 Athens Olympics, ballooned in weight, then lost more than seven stone in order to compete once more in Delhi.
Comeback King Huegill, 31, was ecstatic at beating his personal best and swimming faster than he did when he won bronze in the Sydney Olympics in 2000
"There's hope for all those old buggers out there," he said straight after the race.
Asked whether he expected to win gold, Huegill said: "Not in a million years. It was only six weeks ago we decided to enter in the 100m butterfly...
"This is a dream come true."
Huegill also confirmed he was already dreaming of swimming in the 2012 London Olympics.
"I had a nice massage this morning and it just felt so good in the water, he said. "London is definitely in the favourable side now - I feel awesome."
Geoff "Skippy" Huegill has a tough decision to make over the next few months.
The gold medal winner of the men's 100m butterfly at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi has renewed vigor and is now contemplating swimming at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
"Obviously finishing off with a world ranking of number two in the 100 is definitely in medal contention for London," Huegill said on his return to Australia from India.
"It's only 18 months away until the trials, and that's going to go by really, really quick."
The man they call "Skippy" won gold in the 100m butterfly at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, before having to settle for bronze at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. He then defended his Commonwealth Games title at Manchester in 2002, but an eighth-place finish in the 100m butterfly final at the Athens Olympics in 2004 saw him announce his retirement from swimming.
During his four years of retirement, Huegill's battled with weight-gain as he was no longer going through the training and routine of a world-class swimmer. His battle with the bulge was highly publicised which made his announcement of a comeback in late 2008 all the more surprising.
In preparation for his comeback to competitive swimming Huegill said he had lost more than 40 kilograms, coming down from 138kg.
Huegill missed gold by the narrowest of margins in the 50m butterfly at the Delhi Games, but completed his comeback by snaring gold in his pet event later in the program.
Huegill says he will make his mind up on his London 2012 decision by Christmas. He will be 33 years old at the time of the 2012 Olympics.



Related Article: Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010


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