Lenton etched herself firmly in sporting history when she completed her second international five gold medal-haul in a month at the world short course swimming championships in Shanghai.
At the Commonwealth Games she also grabbed five gold and two silver medals and has broken five world records in five meets since August last year. But Lenton is not alone on the path to riches.
Training partner Leisel Jones is another of swimming’s hottest properties, having won four gold at the Commonwealth Games and breaking four world records in 2006. Both Brisbane swimmers are managed by Dave Flaskas of Grand Slam International, who helped make Ian Thorpe a multi-millionaire, and he has just returned from Japan where he has spruiked the value of the two women.
“Libby is the hottest swimmer in the world right now and is on the way to becoming a superstar, if she is not already there,” he said.
Flaskas will return to Japan in June to finalise sponsorship deals for Lenton and Jones, but he doesn’t expect the substantial figures to start coming just yet. “The girls won’t be signing anything the size of Ian but it will happen slowly,” said Flaskas. “Ian’s deals now are a lot different to the first deals we did in 2000. Ian is now in the top three most recognised sports stars in Japan behind Tigers Woods and David Beckham.”