Melbourne, July 30 : Australian swimmers Eamon Sullivan and Stephanie Rice today said that they had decided to end their relationship in their quest for Olympic glory in Beijing.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the first couple of Australian sport split up because they want to focus their attention entirely on swimming at the Olympic games.
Sullivan told the media at the Australian swimmers' training camp in Kuala Lumpur that he and Rice were being "a bit selfish" by deciding to go their separate ways.
"Basically with the months ahead we are just focusing purely ... I guess being a bit selfish that we want to swim to the best of our ability," he was quoted, as saying.
"We both mutually agreed that being together is something that probably won't work during this month. So, we decided to have a break."
When asked if the break was a permanent move, Sullivan left the relationship door slightly ajar.
"You never know what the future holds, but we are not thinking about that at the moment," he said.
"We are just thinking about the months ahead and making sure we do 100 per cent in our preparation and focus 100 per cent on ourselves. We are still great friends," he added.
The duo, who captured the nation's hearts at the national trials last March when they revealed their romance, split about 10 days ago.
The split was revealed to friends late yesterday, after both swimmers changed their status to "no longer in a relationship" on the networking site Facebook.
Australian head coach Alan Thompson said today the split had not been destructive for Rice or Sullivan's preparations - or the team.
"It was a decision made a while ago. Their friends have known for awhile. I don't think it is anyone business, really," Thompson said.
Rice and Sullivan shot to national stardom for their exploits in the pool when they both smashed world records at the Olympic qualifying championships in Sydney last March.
"With Eamon in Perth and Stephanie in Brisbane it was always going to be very difficult. She's 19 and he's 21 so it was a lot to handle at their age. But they are still very good friends. The split really was amicable," an insider was quoted, as saying.