Lee chases maiden marathon swim medal

Kareena Lee (l) has swum her way into Australia's team for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
Kareena Lee (l) has swum her way into Australia's team for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Kareena Lee can focus her efforts on becoming Australia's first Olympic marathon swimming medallist after becoming one of the first athletes to secure a berth for Tokyo.

The Sunshine Coast talent, who narrowly missed selection at the 2016 Games in Brazil, secured her spot after finishing seventh in this year's world championships.

In that race she finished the 10km slog just 3.3 seconds behind the winner and the 25-year-old is confident she can be in the mix again in the Odaiba Marine Park next year.

"Everyone's goal is to get on the podium at Tokyo, that would be the absolute dream especially as it's something Australia hasn't done yet," she said.

"It's really amazing being selected this far out, it allows me to narrow the focus to just the Olympics now."

The 25-year-old admitted she considered leaving the sport after missing the team for Rio.

"I had a bit of a break and a long think about it and I knew I wouldn't be happy within myself if I left the sport," she said.

"My heart was still in it and I really didn't want to leave on a low, so I knuckled down and trained very, very hard."

The full Australian team for the Tokyo Games could eventually number 480 athletes.

Australian Associated Press