Nikesha Harding has added incentive to make sure Australia stay top of the International Federation for Athletes with Intellectual Impairments (INAS) Global Games medal table, as she competes in front of her home crowd.
The 20-year-old Australian swimmer is number one in the world rankings for the 200m butterfly II1, and fifth in the 100m standings.
It means Harding is one of the hosts' best medal hopes when the Games come to Brisbane from October 12 to 19 – and she is determined to step up to the challenge.
“It’s fantastic to be part of any national team no matter what sport," she said.
"It’s the team that makes the event so special and I’m confident Australia will win this Global Games at home.
“It’s so very special to have the Games in Brisbane and to represent my country at home.
"To have fellow Australians, and especially my proud family see me swim, will be amazing.
“My personal ambition is to help Australia become the champions and to become a champion in front of my home crowd."
Australia topped the medal table in Ecuador four years ago and are all-time leaders of the INAS medal rankings, making them clear favourites to do so again when 1,000 athletes descend on Brisbane to compete in 10 different sports this October.
However, Harding acknowledges it will be tough and has identified who she feels is her biggest rival – Leslie Cichocki from the USA. who is one place behind her in the 100m butterfly rankings and two behind in the 200m.
Harding said: “Brazil and China are both very strong teams but for me personally, my biggest opponent in butterfly will be Cichocki.”
The INAS Games will provide important preparation for Harding ahead of next year's Paralympic Games in Tokyo.