Bachelor of Business student Elijah Winnington is going for gold at the Tokyo Olympics. PICTURE: Cavan Flynn
Elijah Winnington is ready to take on the world.
The 21-year-old has been a phenomenon in the pool since he was eight-years-old, claiming a staggering 30 national age group titles.
The Bond University Bachelor of Business student put an emphatic exclamation mark on his underage career by breaking the junior 200 metre freestyle world record at the Queensland state titles.
But it was his performance at the Olympic trials, where he claimed the 400 metres title in the world’s fastest time this year, that rocketed him to public consciousness.
It was the ninth-fastest time in history and he defeated defending Olympic champion Mack Horton in the process.
“The Tokyo Olympics is the biggest goal of all. To represent Australia means everything to me,” Winnington said.
The talent from an early age has always been there, but the drive to succeed is what makes Winnington one of the most exciting Olympic prospects in the country.
The Georgina Hope Rinehart Swimming Excellence Scholarship student got a taste of representing Australia at senior competition when he won Commonwealth Games gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay.
“He had a lot of enthusiasm and a really big heart,” former Bond University head swimming coach Richard Scarce said of his first meeting with Winnington.
“He was prepared to work hard even from a young age. He’s always been a great racer and keen to compete.
“You could never question his commitment or dedication.
“He is one of the most determined and one of my very best swimmers I’ve ever had. He’ll race his heart out for Australia.”
Elijah Winnington (Georgina Hope Rinehart Swimming Excellence Scholarship student)
Swimming: 400m and 200m freestyle and 4x200m relay
400m heats: Saturday, July 24, Tokyo Aquatics Centre
Final: Sunday, July 25
200m heats: Sunday, July 25
Semis: Monday, July 26
Final: Tuesday, July 27
4x200m relay heats: Tuesday, July 27
Final: Wednesday, July 28