The British Virgin Islands has announced a three-athlete team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games next summer, including swimmer Elinah Phillip.
Phillip will be entered in the 50 freestyle for the second-straight Olympic Games, after finishing 48th in prelims at the Rio Games in 2016 when she was only 16 years old.
In June, Phillip swam a lifetime best in the 50 free of 25.82, just missing the FINA Olympic “B” standard. That means she’ll go on a Universality selection to the Games for the second-straight year.
Phillip then becomes one of the athletes who benefits from the Olympic delay. The BVI didn’t send any swimmers to the 2019 World Championships, and under FINA rules, Universality choices must have swum at the preceding year’s World Championships to be eligible for the Olympics.
That rule, however, was waived because of the delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Phillip grew up in England, where she attended Bishop’s Stortford College before matriculating to Florida International University in the United States.
In her sophomore season at FIU, she was one of the team’s top performers at the Conference USA Championships. That includes a runner-up finish in the 50 yard free with a time of 23.01.
BVI will also send Kyron McMaster in the 400 meter hurdles and Chantel Malone in the women’s long jump. A 4th BVI athlete, shotputter Eldred Henry, withdrew from the Olympics with an injury. Track & field has been the BVI’s main Olympic sport since they first participated in the 1984 Games. While the country has never won an Olympic medal, McMaster won gold in the 400m hurdles at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games.
On top of a 4th-place finish at the 2019 World Championships, he is the country’s best chance at history.
Phillip is one of two FIU aquatics athletes who are going to the Olympics. Diver Maha Gouda will dive platform representing Egypt.
The swimming events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will run from July 23 to August 1, 2021, while diving will run from July 25 through August 7.