Grant Hackett's coach says the triple Olympic champion won't be changing his plans despite a solid start to his swimming comeback in Brisbane.
Returning swimming champion Grant Hackett will stick to his plan of earning a spot in next year's Olympics through the 200m freestyle.
The two-time Olympic 1500m champion made his first competitive appearance since the 2008 Beijing Games during a qualifying meet in Brisbane last weekend.
The 34-year-old swam the 200m, 400m and 100m freestyle events, winning the 400m in a time which would have qualified him for the final at last year's national championships.
Despite that result, Hackett's coach Denis Cotterell says the shorter 200m, and a potential relay spot, remains the best way for his charge to secure a spot on the plane to Rio.
Hackett's 200m time at last weekend's Brisbane meet was a 1:50.68, well off the 1:45.46 Cameron McEvoy swam on his way to the title at last year's nationals.
Cotterell says there's no plan to switch Hackett's focus to a longer event.
"He's not going to find that time. It's a really long bow to expect he could get back in a distance event in a short time frame. It isn't easy," Cotterell told AAP.
"Plenty have tried and failed. Especially in shorter events, you can't fake the preparation for that. That needs time to package it."
Comparisons between Hackett's comeback and the failed attempt by Ian Thorpe to qualify for the London 2012 games are inevitable.
But experienced coach Cotterell says the circumstances are different for Hackett, who returned to the pool largely to provide some balance to a life turned upside down.
Since retiring from competitive swimming Hackett's marriage has broken down and he spent time in an American rehab centre last year to battle a sleeping pill addiction.
Cotterell says swimming is just one part of Hackett's life and he's only doing it for himself, no-one else.
"That continual challenge thrust at him and application to meet challenges has been a very satisfying part of his life," Cotterell said.
"He's got his work and personal life in a good space and this is a bonus to provide a really great balance as he's matured and gone through some of the tribulations people go through in their lives.
"He's possibly in the best headspace he's been in ever. If he doesn't find it fun anymore he doesn't have to prove anything."
Hackett will return to the pool this weekend for the Gold Coast regional championships before swimming the 100m, 400m and 200m at the nationals in Sydney from April 3.
"He'll go in just so he can stand on a block at the arena and just reacquaint himself with the show," Cotterell said.
"Every start is a practice, a familiarisation to what he's embraced. Each race is an opportunity to practice that."