On the heels of Spanish Olympic champion Mireia Belmonte revealing her aim to qualify for the Paris Olympic Games, another longstanding racing mainstay has staked her claim on making her nation’s 2024 squad.
Mom-to-be Emily Seebohm of Australia may be due to give birth to her first child, a son, any day now, but the 31-year-old has made it known she has a goal of making her fifth Olympic team.
“It would be insane,” the 2020 Olympic Games 200m backstroke bronze medalist told The Courier Mail this week.
“I think to do it and have a baby as well, that’s the biggest lesson I could give to my child.
“You don’t ever give up on something you want, even if you think it’s not possible, anything is achievable.
“So I’m just going to give it a go.”
The Australian Olympic Trials are just 8 months away, which means Seebohm would have an uphill battle to get back to form and fed off the ever-present arsenal of talent that comprises Swimming Australia.
But Seebohm said, “I feel like I have this extra bit of strength that wasn’t there before.
“Being a mum and just seeing what my body has been capable of doing gives me an extra bit of something that no one else has.” (The Courier Mail)
Seebohm hasn’t competed since Tokyo but did partake in the national team’s training camp in February on the Gold Coast while 8 weeks pregnant.
Targeting the 200m backstroke specifically, Seebohm said, “Obviously it’s not going to be easy, I know it’s not, so as long as I’m accepting of that. I know what it takes, I’ve been there before, and it’s just going to be different.”
Teammate and reigning World Record holder Kaylee McKeown topped the women’s 200m back podium at this year’s World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan and shows no signs of slowing down. Additionally, Jenna Forrester has been rising among the international ranks, with the Aussie placing 8th in the 2back final in Fukuoka.
This week at the World Junior Championships, Aussie Bella Grant reaped bronze, posting a time of 2:11.24 to put her hat into the ring of possible contenders at next year’s Olympic Trials.
With these results in mind, Seebohm said, “I not only want to make it [the team] but be able to swim a good time … if I’m kicking it with the best in the world, I’ll be pretty stoked.
“If I can go faster than Tokyo, or the same time as Tokyo, that would be awesome.”