Sport: 7th July 2014. Ben Treffers, preparing for the Commonwealth Games. The Canberra Times. Photo by: Jamila Toderas Photo: Jamila Toderas Sport: 7th July 2014. Ben Treffers, preparing for the Commonwealth Games. The Canberra Times. Photo by: Jamila Toderas
Canberra swimmer Ben Treffers says relocating to the Gold Coast will give him a fresh start as he moves on from his Olympic pain to focus on defending his Commonwealth Games title.
Treffers will race in the 50 metre backstroke at the national championships in Brisbane on Thursday after finishing fourth in the 100 metre final on Tuesday night.
The 25-year-old had to regroup after falling short of his Rio dream when his missed out on Olympic selection at the n trials.
Treffers was always keen to continue his career, but a change of coaching set up at the AIS forced him to step out of his comfort zone and shift to the Gold Coast.
He is training with former teammate James Roberts and being coached by Olympic gold medallist Ashley Callus as he targets Commonwealth Games redemption next year.
But first he wants to test his progress at the national titles after only starting his full-time training regiment with Callus in January.
“It’s been a big change but it’s been a good one,” Treffers said.
“I needed a change of scenery and my coach, John Fowlie, isn’t at the AIS any more so one thing led to another.
“A change can be a breath of fresh air and I’m really looking forward to the Commonwealth Games and trying to defend my title from Glasgow in 2014.
“That’s been a goal of mine and missing the Olympics was hard to deal with, but the motivation never wavered. It was just about organising a way to reach that goal.”
Treffers admitted finishing fourth in the 100 metres backstroke on Tuesday was a bitter pill to swallow after falling at the same hurdle last year.
He finished fourth at the Olympic qualification and missed his chance by two spots and one second outside the time needed to book a ticket to Rio.
The ANU student took a short break before resuming his career in Europe, and took his father, Mark, – also a Commonwealth Games gold medallist – and girlfriend with him to add an element of fun.
Treffers put his commerce university degree ahead of training before settling on a move to Callus’ team.
“I was always confident that I wanted to keep swimming and the goal of winning a gold medal at a home Commonwealth Games [in 2018] was a pretty good fire,” Treffers said.
“I tried to have a bit of fun with swimming in Europe but then I didn’t have anywhere to train when I came back.
“I was trying to work out where I was going to go, so I moved to the Gold Coast in December and it has been a short prep for the n championships.”
Treffers is the n record holder for the 50 metre back stroke with a time of 24.54 seconds, and he’ll battle Mitch Larkin for the title in Brisbane.