Elmslie set for Olympic journey

Australian swimmer Brittany Elmslie
Australian swimmer Brittany Elmslie Matt Roberts / Getty Images

BRITTANY Elmslie has long been earmarked as a future Olympian.

But it has taken plenty of hard work, and a few stumbles along the way, for the kid from Nambour with the big smile to realise her childhood dream.

Elmslie, 18, was a darling of junior swimming and lifesaving, qualifying for Australian junior teams and achieving international success early, with a gold medal in the 50m freestyle at the Junior Pan Pacs in Guam in 2009.

She began her career under the tutelage of Michael Sage, before joining good friend Nick D'Arcy in Brian Stehr's squad at Noosa.

Both coaches had identified her as something special and according to her mother Min, both were reluctant to pigeon hole her as a sprinter, given her abilities over longer distances in the training pool.

Their predictions proved correct when Elmslie qualified for both freestyle relays in London at the March Olympic trials.

"Brittany went to the trials focused on the 100m freestyle, but now she really sees herself as a 200m freestyler," Min said.

"When she was with Michael Sage, he had always said she could swim the 200m and we didn't really understand, but they have all said she should do the 200m."

Elmslie, who now trains with Matt Brown's Brothers squad in Brisbane, has had her ups and downs on the way to London.

But the trials and tribulations have only added to the experience.

"She has been on the Australian junior team for three years, so she has always been up there," Min said.

"But she got to grade 11 and she put on a bit of weight and she was struggling a bit with her swimming. And I think she needed to move to Brisbane, because it really spurred her on a bit."

Elmslie has been confirmed as a starter in the 4x100m freestyle relay heats, which will be contested on Saturday night.

Should the Australians qualify for the final, which is scheduled for Sunday morning, the coaching staff will decide who fills the four spots in the decider.

Melanie Schlanger, Cate Campbell, Libby Trickett, Alicia Coutts and Yolane Kukla are the others in contention.


Born: Nambour

Age: 18

Trains: Brothers (Brisbane)

Schedule: July 28 - 4x100m freestyle relay, August 1 - 4x200m freestyle relay

Topics:  brittany elmslie london olympics

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