19-year-old Elijah Winnington has put himself on the elite swimming map not only within Australia, but among the world’s best with his impressive string of performances over the past 18 months. The Gold Coast born and bred athlete trains under storied Bond University coach Richard Scarce and the teen attributes much of his success to the special relationship the pair share.
“I’m one of the only people who can understand his gibberish,” jabs Winnington. But on a serious note, states that Scarce, “knows exactly what I need to get the best out of myself.”
So far the formula is working, as Winnington’s near 7-year tutelage under Scarce has been producing some eye-catching results. In 2018 alone, Winnington cracked 2 World Junior Records, first in the SCM 400 freestyle and then in the LCM 200 freestyle.
In the former, Winnington clocked a time of 3:39.17 to finish with the silver medal behind Olympian Jack McLoughlin at the 2018 Australian Short Course Championships. That laid waste to Winningtons’ previous PB of 3:46.02 heading into that meet.
Flash forward to the 2018 Queensland Championships in Brisbane last December and Winnington was back at it, taking down the men’s WJR in the 200m free with a monster 1:46.13.
Already this year Winnington racked up his first Australian Open national title with his 400m freestyle victory this past April. He produced a winning mark of 3:44.68, a wicked-fast outing that fell just .08 of fellow Australian Mack Horton’s World Junior Record set way back in 2014.
International medals-wise, Winnington climbed up on the podium as part of the Australian men’s gold medal winning 4x200m freestyle relay at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. His split of 1:45.07 was the 3rd fastest of the entire finals field.
The above results are simply par for the course for the swimmer Scarce says “isn’t afraid to push barriers.”
Check out how the pair interact in the video below.
Coach & Athlete – The Bond from Swimming Australia on Vimeo.