AFTER a painful split with the sport following her 2012 Olympic heartache, Ellen Fullerton has returned to the pool more determined than ever.
Fullerton came agonisingly close to earning a berth at the London Games and said the anguish of falling just short proved too much.
"It was extremely upsetting when I had worked so hard for it," Fullerton said.
"That caused me to lose a bit of love for the sport."
The four-time Australian short-course individual medley champion took a six month sabbatical without dipping a toe in the pool.
"I lost a bit of motivation and I was getting a bit sick all the time and struggled a bit with illness," Fullerton said.
"I decided to take a good half year out of the water to get better and then came back with a fresh mind.
"It has been a bit of a journey to get back."
THE 21-year-old returned to competition last weekend at the Australian Short Course Swimming Championships where she claimed silver in the 200m individual medley and 400m IM.
Fullerton qualified for the World Short Course Swimming Championships in Doha next month and said she was hopeful of a medal but wouldn't put too much pressure on herself.
"It is my first Australian team since I have been back and it is good to be with my good friend and training partner Emily Seebohm," she said.
"I want to go quicker there this time and get in the final and see where we go from there.
"To do a PB would be fantastic and to medal would be massive."
Next month's world championships will serve as a precursor to Fullerton's Rio Olympic campaign.
Confirming 2016 would likely be her last opportunity to make an Olympic appearance, Fullerton said Rio would serve as the ultimate swansong.
"This is it, my last shot," she said.
"I will be at the Olympic trials and do my best against some great swimmers.
"Next time I leave it will be for good, so I am going to give it everything."
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