Olympian Tamsin Cook of Australia has decided to hang up her goggles and separate herself from elite competitive swimming at just 19 years of age. The 400m freestyle finalist from Rio will no longer be training nor competing and doesn’t foresee herself doing so in the near future.
“My plans are just to focus on my university, focus on my goals in that area and have a normal life for a little while,” Cook said.“I’ve been trying for a long time to get my head back into the game and I’ve just found over the last two years my priorities have shifted away from the pool.” (The West Australian)
The 2015 Western Australia Institute of Sport’s Junior Athlete of the Year busted onto the international racing scene by winning 400m freestyle gold at that year’s World Junior Championships. She earned her first Australian senior team berth representing her nation in Rio, where, then just 17, she was the youngest Australian Olympian.
At those 2016 Games, Cook finished an impressive 6th in the 400m freestyle, and battled American Katie Ledecky again on the anchor leg of the women’s 4x200m freestyle to hang on for Olympic silver.
Cook had already taken a break and opted out of last year’s Australian Nationals and, subsequently, the 2017 World Championships, but then was delayed further due to a car accident. Now, Cook just doesn’t see herself putting swimming at a high enough priority to do what she’d need to do in order to take on the likes of domestic rival Ariarne Titmus and the aforementioned Ledecky in a journey to Tokyo 2020.
Said Cook, “Qualifying for Rio in those events, I know what’s required. The decision that I made was not because I don’t think I can do the work required, it’s more because it’s not my goal at the moment.” (The West Australian)
She competed at this year’s Commonwealth Games Trials where she finished 10th in the 400m free, not quick enough to be in the pool for her home Games.
However, the Western Australia standout doesn’t completely rule-out a comeback in the future, looking past Tokyo when she’ll be nearing her mid-20’s.
“I’m going to be 21 when Tokyo is on, 25 when the Olympics are on in 2024 and there are athletes who have competed beyond those ages,” Cook said.
“I left on really good terms and I have no bitter feelings towards the sport at all so I definitely don’t rule out coming back, but for the foreseeable future I’m not going to be swimming.”