Adelaide: Self-appointed "Mother Goose" Leisel Jones put up her hand to carry Australia's flag in London after becoming her country's first swimmer to qualify for four Olympic Games at the national trials on Saturday.

The triple Olympic champion's runner-up finish behind Leiston Pickett in the 100 metres breaststroke was enough to ensure she will defend her Beijing gold in London in a likely showdown with American world champion Rebecca Soni.

"Anyone who's carried the flag knows how amazing that is," the bubbly 26-year-old told reporters at the South Australia Aquatic and Leisure Centre.

"It really tops off your Olympic experience, so I would love to think that I was on the money there. Four Olympics, fingers crossed!"

The seven-times world champion became Australia's youngest swimmer to win an Olympic medal when she took silver in the 100 breaststroke and 4x100 medley relay at the 2000 Sydney Games at the age of 15.

Now 26, Jones is improbably the mother figure of an up-and-coming Australian team, a role she previously blanched at but now feels more than comfortable with.

Apart from having a laugh with younger team mates to keep them relaxed, the role also includes a good-natured maternal dig at wayward members, including Kenrick Monk, who was embroiled in scandal last year for lying to police about a skateboarding accident.

Monk broke bones in his arm when he fell off his skateboard but told police he had been the victim of a hit-and-run incident. Days later he was forced to retract his story and publicly apologise.

On Saturday, he qualified for the Olympics by coming runner-up in the 200 freestyle.


"I am the Mother Goose... I love watching the younger guys, and obviously I train with them day in day out," Jones said.

"Kenny Monk, we've seen his story... He's a young boy, he's very silly but that's alright. He did a good job today and we're really proud of him."

Jones's greatest priority is to get herself and 20-year-old Pickett up to speed to catch Soni, who assumed the Australian's throne as the greatest woman breaststroker when Jones took time away from the pool to pursue other interests after the Beijing Games.

Soni took Jones's 100 and 200 world titles in Rome in 2009 with the Australian absent, and retained them in Shanghai last year.

"I think Leiston is obviously a very good competitor as well so I think she'll get there and we'll be mowing Rebecca Soni down," she said.

Jones would not rule out a fifth Olympic tilt but said she saw herself going to the Rio Games in 2016 as a tourist or an "athlete liaison officer" rather than a competitor.

"I'd love to go to Rio but I think it would be on a holiday at this stage, so I would have to take a massive break and would have to do a comeback," she said.

"But I'm not one for comebacks, so pretty much London, I'm going to make the most of it and I really want to go out with a bang."