By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
In a year she described as being “difficult” swimmer Elinah Phillip ended her season on Sunday by qualifying for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in the 50m Freestyle event, during the 6th FINA World Jr. Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The Youth Olympic Games are scheduled for Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 6-13, 2018, and will mark the first time the event will be held outside of Asia.
Phillip, the first swimmer to represent the territory at the Olympic Games when she made the sport’s debut in Rio last year, recorded a time of 26.34 seconds in her 50m Freestyle prelim on Sunday, but did not advance. Her personal best is 26.26. She placed eight in her 50m Butterfly heat on Saturday in 29.18 seconds. She has a career best mark of 28.13 seconds.
“Overall, I would say I did ok,” Phillip said. “I didn’t swim as fast as I wanted to in the 50m Butterfly, but I did swim close to my personal best in my second event, the 50m Freestyle, which was a good way to end the meet for me.”
Entering the competition, Phillip said she had no expectation as to how fast she would swim so to come away with a Youth Olympic Games qualifying standard means a lot and motivates her for next season.
“My competitive year has been difficult,” noted Phillip who lives and trains in Hertsfordshire, England. “I had an academically heavy year and as a result, did a lot less work in the pool than I usually would have in a season. So this has been more difficult to balance but rewarding in the end.”
Phillip said the experience gained from Rio is very similar to the experience gained from other swimming competitions. As a result, she said she’d go into the 3rdYouth Olympic Games focused and fearless.
“In the lead up up to the Youth Olympics, I will be focused on my race strategy and building my endurance,” she said.